Recently, I learned that the failure rate for machine learning projects is still astonishingly high. Studies suggest that between 85-96% of projects never make it to production. These numbers are even more remarkable given the growth of machine learning (ML) and data science in the past five years. For businesses to be successful with ML initiatives, they need a comprehensive understanding of the risks and how to address them. In this post, we attempt to shed light on how to achieve this by moving away from a model-centric view of ML systems towards a data-centric view. Of course, everyone knows that data is the most important component of ML. Nearly every data scientist has heard: "garbage in, garbage out" and "80% of a data scientist's time is spent cleaning data".
The era which undoubtedly belongs to Artificial Intelligence results in the use of machine learning in almost every field, and whether it is healthcare, business, and technical, machine learning is everywhere. With the availability of the latest tools, techniques, and algorithms the development of machine learning models to solve a problem is not a challenge, the real challenge lies in the maintenance of these models at a massive scale. This blog will give an insight into Productionizing Machine learning models with MLOps Solutions. The new chasm of the development process of machine learning involves the collaboration of four major disciplines – Data Science, Data Engineering, Software Engineering, and traditional DevOps. These four disciplines have their level of operations and their requirements with different constraints and velocity.
MLOps is the new terminology defining the operational work needed to push machine learning projects from research mode to production. While Software Engineering involves DevOps for operationalizing Software Applications, MLOps encompass the processes and tools to manage end-to-end Machine Learning lifecycle. Machine Learning defines the models' hypothesis learning relationships among independent(input) variables and predicting target(output) variables. Machine Learning projects involve different roles and responsibilities starting from the Data Engineering team collecting, processing, and transforming data, Data Scientists experimenting with algorithms and datasets, and the MLOps team focusing on moving the trained models to production. Machine Learning Lifecycle represents the complete end-to-end lifecycle of machine learning projects from research mode to production.
In today's world, data has played a huge role in the success of technology giants like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. All of these companies have built massively scalable infrastructure to process data and provide great product experiences for their users. In the last 5 years, we've seen a real emergence of AI as a new technology stack. For example, Facebook built an end-to-end platform called FBLearner that enables an ML Engineer or a Data Scientist build Machine Learning pipelines, run lots of experiments, share model architectures and datasets with team members, scale ML algorithms for billions of Facebook users worldwide. Since its inception, millions of models have been trained on FBLearner and every day these models answer billions of real-time queries to personalize News Feed, show relevant Ads, recommend Friend connections, etc.
As machine learning and AI propagate in software products and services, we need to establish best practices and tools to test, deploy, manage, and monitor ML models in real-world production. In short, with MLOps we strive to avoid "technical debt" in machine learning applications. SIG MLOps defines "an optimal MLOps experience [as] one where Machine Learning assets are treated consistently with all other software assets within a CI/CD environment. Machine Learning models can be deployed alongside the services that wrap them and the services that consume them as part of a unified release process." By codifying these practices, we hope to accelerate the adoption of ML/AI in software systems and fast delivery of intelligent software.