This manual is for an old version of Hazelcast Jet, use the latest stable version.

The forwarding pattern decides which of the processors in the candidate set to route each particular item to.

Variable Unicast

This is the default forwarding pattern. For each item a single destination processor is chosen with no further restrictions on the choice. The only guarantee given by this pattern is that the item will be received by exactly one processor, but typically care will be taken to "spray" the items equally over all the reception candidates.

This choice makes sense when the data does not have to be partitioned, usually implying a downstream vertex which can compute the result based on each item in isolation.


A broadcasting edge sends each item to all candidate receivers. This is useful when some small amount of data must be broadcast to all downstream vertices. Usually such vertices will have other inbound edges in addition to the broadcasting one, and will use the broadcast data as context while processing the other edges. In such cases the broadcasting edge will have a raised priority. There are other useful combinations, like a parallelism-one vertex that produces the same result on each member.


A partitioned edge sends each item to the one processor responsible for the item's partition ID. On a distributed edge, this processor will be unique across the whole cluster. On a local edge, each member will have its own processor for each partition ID.

Each processor can be assigned to multiple partitions. The global number of partitions is controlled by the number of partitions in the underlying Hazelcast IMDG configuration. Please refer to Hazelcast Reference Manual for more information about Hazelcast IMDG partitioning.

This is the default algorithm to determine the partition ID of an item:

  1. Apply the keyExtractor function defined on the edge to retrieve the partitioning key.
  2. Serialize the partitioning key to a byte array using Hazelcast serialization.
  3. Apply Hazelcast's standard MurmurHash3-based algorithm to get the key's hash value.
  4. Partition ID is the hash value modulo the number of partitions.

The above procedure is quite CPU-intensive, but has the essential property of giving repeatable results across all cluster members, which may be running on disparate JVM implementations.

Another common choice is to use Java's standard Object.hashCode(). It is often significantly faster. However, it is not a safe strategy in general because hashCode()'s contract does not require repeatable results across JVMs, or even different instances of the same JVM version.

You can provide your own implementation of Partitioner to gain full control over the partitioning strategy.

All to One

The all-to-one forwarding pattern is a special-case of the partitioned pattern where all items are assigned to the same partition ID, randomly chosen at the job initialization time. This will direct all items to the same processor.