CICD (DevOps) for Data Science: Part Deux

It’s been some time since I presented Part 1 of this DevOps for Data Science short anthology. Since then I have been working on scripting out this solution for a series of presentations I am doing as part of a Discovery & Insights Roadshow.

The example draws inference (pun intended) from anomaly detection and predictive maintenance scenarios since I seem spend a chunk of time working in this space. This is an implementation specifically of a Continuous Integration (CI) / Continuous Delivery (CD) pipeline in support of the applications that support those scenarios – Typically, when one is developing an AI application, two parallel motions take place:

a) A data science team is working on building out the machine learning (ML) models; often the handoff occurs when they publish out an endpoint that gets integrated into the app.

b) AppDev or developers work on the build of the application as well as are typically responsible for exposing it to end users via a web /mobile app or take the pre-trained model endpoint and call it from within an internal business process application.

The example use case for this Continuous Integration (CI)/Continuous Delivery (CD) pipeline is a fairly standard / typical Anomaly Detection and Predictive Maintenance machine learning scenario.

In short, the pipeline is designed to kick off for each new commit, run the test suite using model parameters required as input (features, eg) and tests the outputs generated (usually in the form of a score.py file) – if the test passes, the latest build branch is merged into the master which gets packaged into a Docker container and possibly Kubernetes if the operationalization or requirements demand cluster-scale support.

DevOps for AI/ML Architecture



I have included a #Jupyter notebook for you to check out the process of deploying to @Docker and then productionalizing using @Kubernetes – Part of the latter productionalized code set includes the process for gathering data from how your users interact with your model. This is important from a retraining perspective because you need to have a closed loop architecture in order to enable said functionality.

Using Azure to Retrain Production Models Deployed Using Kubernetes

As a side note, Azure Databricks is a managed Spark offering on Azure and customers already use it for advanced analytics. It provides a collaborative Notebook based environment with CPU or GPU based compute cluster much like if not identical to the Jupyter Notebook icon above. Often, I will get asked about DevOps specifically for Databricks in addition to Azure ML so wanted to explictly reference the fact that you can use either or both.

In this section, you will find additional information on how to use Azure Machine Learning SDK with Azure Databricks. You can train a model using Spark MLlib and then deploy the model to ACI/AKS from within Azure Databricks just like the example above. In additionn, you can also use Automated ML capability (public preview) of Azure ML SDK with Azure Databricks or without. A natural cloud convergence between ML/AI service offerings is currently underway across all vendors. This enables things like:

  • Customers who use Azure Databricks for advanced analytics can now use the same cluster to run experiments with or without automated machine learning.
  • You can keep the data within the same cluster.
  • You can leverage the local worker nodes with autoscale and auto termination capabilities.
  • You can use multiple cores of your Azure Databricks cluster to perform simultenous training.
  • You can further tune the model generated by automated machine learning if you chose to.
  • Every run (including the best run) is available as a pipeline, which you can tune further if needed.
  • The model trained using Azure Databricks can be registered in Azure ML SDK workspace and then deployed to Azure managed compute (ACI or AKS) using the Azure Machine learning SDK.

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