Lambda Expressions

Warning! This page documents an old version of Kapacitor, which is no longer actively developed. Kapacitor v1.2 is the most recent stable version of Kapacitor.

TICKscript uses lambda expressions to define transformations on data points as well as define boolean conditions that act as filters. TICKscript tries to be similar to InfluxQL in that most expressions that you would use in an InfluxQL WHERE clause will work as expressions in TICKscript. There are few exceptions:

  • All field or tag identifiers must be double quoted.
  • The comparison operator for equality is == not =.

All expressions in TICKscript begin with the lambda: keyword.

.where(lambda: "host" == '')


These lambda expressions are stateful, meaning that each time they are evaluated internal state can change and will persist until the next evaluation. This may seem odd as part of an expression language but it has a powerful use case. You can define a function within the language that is essentially a online/streaming algorithm and with each call the function state is updated. For example the built-in function sigma that calculates a running mean and standard deviation and returns the number of standard deviations the current data point is away from the mean.


sigma("value") > 3

Each time that the expression is evaluated the new value it updates the running statistics and then returns the deviation. This simple expression evaluates to false while the stream of data points it has received remains within 3 standard deviations of the running mean. As soon as a value is processed that is more than 3 standard deviation it evaluates to true. Now you can use that expression inside of a TICKscript to define powerful alerts.

TICKscript with lambda expression:

        // use an expression to define when an alert should go critical.
        .crit(lambda: sigma("value") > 3)

Builtin Functions

Type Conversion functions


Converts a string into a boolean via Go’s strconv.ParseBool function. Numeric types can also be converted to a bool where a 0 -> false and 1 -> true.

bool(value) bool


Converts a string or float64 into an int64 via Go’s strconv.ParseInt or simple float64() coercion. Strings are assumed to be decimal numbers. Durations are converted into an int64 with nanoseconds units. A boolean is converted to an int64 where false -> 0 and true -> 1.

int(value) int64


Converts a string or int64 into an float64 via Go’s strconv.ParseFloat or simple int64() coercion. A boolean is converted to an float64 where false -> 0.0 and true -> 1.0.

float(value) float64


Converts a bool, int64 or float64 into an string via Go’s strconv.Format* functions. Durations are converted to a string representation of the duration.

string(value) string


Converts a int64 or float64 into an duration assuming nanoseconds units. Strings are converted to duration of the form as duration literals in TICKscript.

duration(value) duration

Stateful Functions


Computes the number of standard deviations a given value is away from the running mean. Each time the expression is evaluated the running mean and standard deviation are updated.

sigma(value float64) float64


Count takes no arguments but returns the number of times the expression has been evaluated.

count() int64

Time functions

Within each expression the time field contains the time of the current data point. The following functions can be used on the time field. Each function returns an int64.

Function Description
minute the minute within the hour: range [0,59]
hour the hour within the day: range [0,23]
weekday the weekday within the week: range [0,6] 0 is Sunday
day the day within the month: range [1,31]
month the month within the year: range [1,12]
year the year

Example usage:

lambda: hour("time") == 9

The above expression evaluates to true if the hour of the day for the data point is 9 AM, using local time.

Math functions

The following mathematical functions are available. Each function is implemented via the equivalent Go function. Short descriptions are provided here but see the Go docs for more details.

Function Description
abs Abs returns the absolute value of x.
acos Acos returns the arccosine, in radians, of x.
acosh Acosh returns the inverse hyperbolic cosine of x.
asin Asin returns the arcsine, in radians, of x.
asinh Asinh returns the inverse hyperbolic sine of x.
atan Atan returns the arctangent, in radians, of x.
atan2 Atan2 returns the arc tangent of y/x, using the signs of the two to determine the quadrant of the return value.
atanh Atanh returns the inverse hyperbolic tangent of x.
cbrt Cbrt returns the cube root of x.
ceil Ceil returns the least integer value greater than or equal to x.
cos Cos returns the cosine of the radian argument x.
cosh Cosh returns the hyperbolic cosine of x.
erf Erf returns the error function of x.
erfc Erfc returns the complementary error function of x.
exp Exp returns e**x, the base-e exponential of x.
exp2 Exp2 returns 2**x, the base-2 exponential of x.
expm1 Expm1 returns e**x - 1, the base-e exponential of x minus 1. It is more accurate than Exp(x) - 1 when x is near zero.
floor Floor returns the greatest integer value less than or equal to x.
gamma Gamma returns the Gamma function of x.
hypot Hypot returns Sqrt(p*p + q*q), taking care to avoid unnecessary overflow and underflow.
j0 J0 returns the order-zero Bessel function of the first kind.
j1 J1 returns the order-one Bessel function of the first kind.
jn Jn returns the order-n Bessel function of the first kind.
log Log returns the natural logarithm of x.
log10 Log10 returns the decimal logarithm of x.
log1p Log1p returns the natural logarithm of 1 plus its argument x. It is more accurate than Log(1 + x) when x is near zero.
log2 Log2 returns the binary logarithm of x.
logb Logb returns the binary exponent of x.
max Max returns the larger of x or y.
min Min returns the smaller of x or y.
mod Mod returns the floating-point remainder of x/y. The magnitude of the result is less than y and its sign agrees with that of x.
pow Pow returns x**y, the base-x exponential of y.
pow10 Pow10 returns 10**e, the base-10 exponential of e.
sin Sin returns the sine of the radian argument x.
sinh Sinh returns the hyperbolic sine of x.
sqrt Sqrt returns the square root of x.
tan Tan returns the tangent of the radian argument x.
tanh Tanh returns the hyperbolic tangent of x.
trunc Trunc returns the integer value of x.
y0 Y0 returns the order-zero Bessel function of the second kind.
y1 Y1 returns the order-one Bessel function of the second kind.
yn Yn returns the order-n Bessel function of the second kind.

Human String functions


Converts a int64 or float64 with units bytes into a human readable string representing the number of bytes.

humanBytes(value) string

Conditional Functions


Returns the result of its operands depending on the value of the first argument. The second and third arguments must return the same type.


|eval(lambda: if("field" > threshold AND "field" != 0, 'true', 'false'))

The value of the field value in the above example will be the string true or false, depending on the condition passed as the first argument.

The if function’s return type is the same type as its second and third arguments.

if(condition, true expression, false expression)