split-apply-merge is a common pattern when analyzing data. It is implemented in many popular data analyzing libraries such as Spark, Pandas, R, and etc. Split and merge operations in these libraries are similar to each other, mostly implemented by certain grouping operators. For instance, Spark DataFrame has groupBy, Pandas DataFrame has groupby. Therefore, for users familiar with either Spark DataFrame or pandas DataFrame, it is not difficult for them to understand how grouping works in the other library. However, apply is more native to different libraries and therefore, quite different between libraries. A pandas user knows how to use apply to do curtain transformation in pandas might not know how to do the same using pyspark. Also, the current implementation of passing data from the java executor to python executor is not efficient, there is opportunity to speed it up using Apache Arrow. This feature can enable use cases that uses Spark's grouping operators such as groupBy, rollUp, cube, window and Pandas's native apply operator.
This enables faster data serialization between Pyspark and Pandas using Apache Arrow. Our work will be on top of this and use the same serialization for pandas udf.