GDS Sessions

A GDS Session is a temporary compute environment for running GDS workloads. It is a service offered by Neo4j and runs within Neo4j’s Aura cloud platform. A GDS Session reads data from a Neo4j DBMS through a remote projection, runs computations on the projected graph, and optionally writes the results back to the DBMS using remote write-back.

GDS Sessions are not available by default. Contact your account manager to get the features enabled.

1. GDS Session management

The GdsSessions object is the API entry point to the following operations:

  • get_or_create: Create a new GDS Session, or connect to an existing one.

  • list: List all currently active GDS Sessions.

  • delete: Delete a GDS Session.

You need Neo4j Aura API credentials (CLIENT_ID and CLIENT_SECRET) to create a GdsSessions object. See the Aura documentation for instructions on how to create API credentials from your Neo4j Aura account.

Creating a GdsSessions object:
from graphdatascience.session import GdsSessions, AuraAPICredentials

CLIENT_ID = "my-aura-api-client-id"
CLIENT_SECRET = "my-aura-api-client-secret"

# Create a new GdsSessions object
sessions = GdsSessions(ds_connection=AuraAPICredentials(CLIENT_ID, CLIENT_SECRET))

1.1. Creating a GDS Session

To create a GDS Session, you need to provide the following information:

  • Session name. The name must be unique.

  • Session size. The size determines the amount of memory and CPU available to the session. It also determines the cost of running the session. Available sizes are listed below.

  • DBMS connection. This is a DbmsConnectionInfo object that contains the URI of an AuraDB instance, a username, and a password.

Creating a GDS Session:
from graphdatascience.session import SessionSizes, DbmsConnectionInfo

name = "my-new-session"
size = SessionSizes.by_memory().DEFAULT
db_connection_info = DbmsConnectionInfo("neo4j+s://", "my-user", "my-password")

gds = sessions.get_or_create(

The get_or_create() method creates a new GDS Session if it does not exist, or connects to an existing one if it does. If the session size is different from the existing one, an error is raised.

The return value of get_or_create() is an AuraGraphDataScience object. It offers a similar API to the GraphDataScience object, but it is configured to run on a GDS Session. As a convention, always use the variable name gds for the return value of get_or_create().

1.1.1. Session sizes

Session sizes are specified using the SessionSizes.by_memory() enum. Possible values are DEFAULT (same as M), XS, S, SM, M, ML, L, XL, XXL, X3L, X4L, X5L.

1.2. Listing GDS Sessions

The list() method returns the name and size of all currently active GDS Sessions.

Listing GDS Sessions:

1.3. Deleting a GDS Session

Use the delete() method to delete a GDS Session. This will terminate the session and stop any running costs from accumulating further. Deleting a session will not affect the configured AuraDB data source. However, any data not written back to the AuraDB instance will be lost.

Deleting a GDS Session:

2. Projecting graphs into a GDS Session

Once you have a GDS Session, you can project a graph into it. This operation is called remote projection because the data source is not a co-located database, but rather a remote one.

You can create a remote projection using the gds.graph.project() endpoint with a graph name, a Cypher query, and additional optional parameters. The Cypher query must contain the gds.graph.project.remote() function to project the graph into the GDS Session.

2.1. Syntax

Remote projection:
    graph_name: str,
    query: str,
    nodePropertySchema: dict[str, GdsPropertyTypes],
    relationshipPropertySchema: dict[str, GdsPropertyTypes],
    undirectedRelationshipTypes: list[str],
    inverseIndexedRelationshipTypes: list[str],
): (Graph, Series[Any])
Table 1. Parameters:
Name Optional Description



Name of the graph.



Projection query.



Mapping of node property names to their types.



Mapping of relationship property names to their types.



List of relationship type names that should be treated as undirected.



List of relationship type names that should be indexed in reverse.

Table 2. Results:
Name Type Description



Graph object representing the projected graph.



Statistical data about the projection.

2.1.1. Remote projection query syntax

The remote projection query supports the same syntax as a Cypher projection, with two key differences:

  1. The graph name is not a parameter. Instead, the graph name is provided to the gds.graph.project() endpoint.

  2. The gds.graph.project.remote() function must be used, instead of the gds.graph.project() function.

For full details and examples on how to write Cypher projection queries, see the Cypher projection documentation in the GDS Manual.

2.1.2. Property schemas

The optional parameters nodePropertySchema and relationshipPropertySchema are useful when projecting graphs with multiple node labels or relationship types which have distinct property sets (heterogeneous graphs).

If these parameters are not provided, the type of each property is inferred from the first row of data seen by the projection function. For homogeneous graphs this is usually sufficient, while for heterogeneous graphs it is not. For this reason, we recommend to always use the property schema parameters.

2.1.3. Relationship type undirectedness and inverse indexing

The optional parameters undirectedRelationshipTypes and inverseIndexedRelationshipTypes are used to configure undirectedness and inverse indexing of relationships. These have the same behavior as documented in the GDS Manual.

2.2. Example

This example shows how to project a graph into a GDS Session. The example graph is heterogeneous and models users and products. Users can know each other, and users can buy products. The database connection is to a new, empty AuraDB instance.

Create a GDS Session and add some data to the database:
import os # for reading environment variables
from graphdatascience.session import SessionSizes, DbmsConnectionInfo, GdsSessions, AuraAPICredentials

sessions = GdsSessions(ds_connection=AuraAPICredentials(os.environ["CLIENT_ID"], os.environ["CLIENT_SECRET"]))

db_connection = DbmsConnectionInfo(os.environ["DB_URI"], os.environ["DB_USER"], os.environ["DB_PASSWORD"])
gds = sessions.get_or_create(

     (u1:User {name: 'Mats'}),
     (u2:User {name: 'Florentin'}),
     (p1:Product {name: 'ice cream', cost: 4.2}),
     (p2:Product {name: 'computer', cost: 13.37})

     (u1)-[:KNOWS {since: 2020}]->(u2),
     (u2)-[:BOUGHT {price: 7474}]->(p1),
     (u1)-[:BOUGHT {price: 1337}]->(p2)

With the gds GDS Session active, project the graph and specify node and relationship property schemas as follows:

Project a graph into the GDS Session:
from graphdatascience.session import GdsPropertyTypes

G, result = gds.graph.project(
    CALL {
        MATCH (u1:User)
        OPTIONAL MATCH (u1)-[r:KNOWS]->(u2:User)
        RETURN u1 AS source, r AS rel, u2 AS target, {} AS sourceNodeProperties, {} AS targetNodeProperties
        MATCH (p:Product)
        OPTIONAL MATCH (p)<-[r:BOUGHT]-(user:User)
        RETURN user AS source, r AS rel, p AS target, {} AS sourceNodeProperties, {cost: p.cost} AS targetNodeProperties
    RETURN gds.graph.project.remote(source, target, {
      sourceNodeProperties: sourceNodeProperties,
      targetNodeProperties: targetNodeProperties,
      sourceNodeLabels: labels(source),
      targetNodeLabels: labels(target),
      relationshipType: type(rel),
      relationshipProperties: properties(rel)
    nodePropertySchema={"cost": GdsPropertyTypes.DOUBLE},
    relationshipPropertySchema={"since": GdsPropertyTypes.LONG, "price": GdsPropertyTypes.DOUBLE},

3. Running algorithms

You can run algorithms on a remotely projected graph in the same way you would on any projected graph. For instance, you can run the PageRank and FastRP algorithms on the projected graph from the previous example as follows:

Run algorithms and stream back results:
gds.pageRank.mutate(G, mutateProperty="pr")
gds.fastRP.mutate(G, featureProperties=["pr"], embeddingDimension=2, nodeSelfInfluence=0.1, mutateProperty="embedding")

# Stream the results back together with the `name` property fetched from the database, db_node_properties=["name"], node_properties=["pr", "embedding"])

For a full list of the available algorithms, see the API reference.

4. Remote write-back

The GDS Session’s in-memory graph was projected from data in AuraDB, so write-back operations will persist the data back to the same AuraDB instance. When calling any write operations, the GDS Python client will automatically use the remote write-back functionality. This includes all .write algorithm modes as well as all .write graph operations.

Extending the previous example, you can write back the FastRP embeddings to the AuraDB instance as follows:

Write the FastRP embeddings back to the database:
gds.graph.nodeProperties.write(G, "embedding")

5. Querying the database

You can run Cypher queries on the AuraDB instance using the run_cypher() method. There is no restriction on the type of query that can be run, but it is important to note that the query will be run on the AuraDB instance, and not on the GDS Session. Therefore, you will not be able to call any GDS procedures from the run_cypher() method.

Run a Cypher query to find our written-back embeddings:
gds.run_cypher("MATCH (n:User) RETURN, n.embedding")