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exp apply

Put the results from an experiment in the workspace.


usage: dvc exp apply [-h] [-q | -v] experiment

positional arguments:
  experiment     Experiment to be applied


Restores an experiment into the workspace. The experiment can be referenced by name or hash (see dvc exp run for details).

Specifically, dvc exp apply restores any files or directories which exist in the experiment, to their exact states from the experiment. This includes files tracked both with DVC and Git: code, raw data, parameters, metrics, resulting artifacts, etc.

The resulting Git + DVC workspace after dvc exp apply will contain the contents of experiment, plus any files from the workspace prior to dvc exp apply that did not exist in experiment.

This is typically used after choosing a target experiment with dvc exp show or dvc exp diff, and before committing it to Git (making it persistent).

Conflicting changes in the workspace are overwritten, but the result of dvc exp apply can be reverted using Git.

dvc exp apply can be reverted with the following Git workflow:

$ git stash
$ git stash apply refs/exps/apply/stash

Note that git stash apply my fail if you run Git commands which affect HEAD (such as git commit or git checkout) after dvc exp apply.


  • -h, --help - shows the help message and exit.

  • -q, --quiet - do not write anything to standard output. Exit with 0 if no problems arise, otherwise 1.

  • -v, --verbose - displays detailed tracing information from executing the dvc pull command.

Example: Make an experiment persistent

This example is based on our Get Started, where you can find the actual source code.

Let's say we have run 3 experiments in our project:

$ dvc exp show
  neutral:**Experiment**               neutral:**Created**            metric:**auc**   param:**featurize.max_features**   param:**featurize.ngrams**
  workspace                -              0.61314   1500                     2
  10-bigrams-experiment    Jun 20, 2020   0.61314   1500                     2
  ├── gluey-leak           Oct 21, 2020   0.69830   2000                     2
  ├── frank-farm           Oct 09, 2020   0.57756   1200                     2
  └── union-mart           Oct 09, 2020   0.51676   500                      2

Since gluey-leak has the best auc, we may want to commit it into our project (this is what we call to "make it persistent"):

$ dvc exp apply gluey-leak
Changes for experiment 'gluey-leak' have been applied...

We can inspect what changed in the workspace with Git,

$ git status
On branch master
Changes not staged for commit:
        modified:   dvc.lock
        modified:   params.yaml
        modified:   scores.json
$ git diff params.yaml
@@ -3,7 +3,7 @@ prepare:
-  max_features: 1500
+  max_features: 2000
   ngrams: 2

and with DVC:

$ dvc status
Data and pipelines are up to date.
$ dvc diff
files summary: 0 added, 0 deleted, 3 modified, 0 not in cache

To finish making this experiment persistent, we commit the changes to the repo:

$ git add .
$ git commit -m "persist gluey-leak"

We can now see that the experiment is the new tip of our master branch:

$ dvc exp show
  neutral:**Experiment**   neutral:**Created**        metric:**auc**   param:**featurize.max_features**   param:**featurize.ngrams**
  workspace    -          0.69830   2000                     2
  master       04:31 PM   0.69830   2000                     2

Note that all the other experiments are based on a previous commit, so dvc exp show won't display them by default (but they're still saved).


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