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Mastering Machine Learning Workflow: A Step-By-Step Guide

Published: 4th July, 2023
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Arpit Mehar

Content Developer Associate at almaBetter

Discover the seamless process of the Machine Learning workflow, from handling data to deriving valuable insights. Master the process of building ML systems!

Machine Learning workflows outline the essential stages of a project, including data collection, pre-processing, dataset creation, model training, evaluation, and production deployment. While certain aspects, like a model and feature selection, can be automated, not all workflow components can be streamlined.

Although these steps are widely acknowledged as a standard, they are not set in stone. When developing a Machine Learning workflow, it is crucial to define the project and adapt accordingly. Avoid forcing the model into a rigid workflow; construct a flexible framework that enables starting small and expanding to a production-grade solution.

In this blog, we will understand the workflow of Machine Learning and explore some Machine Learning workflow examples.

Machine Learning Workflow

Machine Learning Workflow Examples

Machine learning workflows encompass the sequential actions taken during a specific Machine Learning implementation. While these workflows may differ across projects and Machine Learning models, they commonly involve four fundamental phases.

Gathering Machine Learning data

Data gathering stands as a vital stage in Machine Learning workflows, shaping the project's value and precision based on the collected data quality. During this phase, you must pinpoint data sources and consolidate them into a unified dataset. This may involve streaming data from IoT sensors, acquiring open-source datasets, or constructing a comprehensive data lake from diverse files, logs, or media.

Data Pre-Processing

After data collection, the next step is data pre-processing. This crucial phase involves cleaning, validating, and formatting the collected data to create a usable dataset. The process may be relatively simple if you work with a single data source. However, when aggregating multiple sources, it becomes essential to ensure data format consistency and reliability and eliminate duplicates.

Building Datasets

In this stage, the processed data is partitioned into three distinct datasets: training, validation, and testing:

Training set: Primarily used for algorithm training, this dataset enables the model to learn and comprehend information. It establishes model classifications by defining parameters.

Validation set: Employed to estimate the model's accuracy, this dataset aids in fine-tuning the model's parameters. It serves as a validation benchmark during the training process.

Test set: Utilized to evaluate the models' accuracy and performance, this dataset aims to uncover any potential issues or inadequacies in the model. It serves as a final examination to identify any instances of model misinterpretation or misalignment.

Training and Refinement

It's time to embark on model training with the datasets in place. This entails supplying the training set to the algorithm, allowing it to grasp the relevant parameters and features essential for classification.

Once training concludes, the model can be further honed using the validation dataset. This stage involves refining the model by adjusting or discarding variables and fine-tuning model-specific settings (hyperparameters) until an acceptable level of accuracy is achieved.

Check out our latest free MLOPs Tutorial.

Machine Learning Workflow Automation

By automating Machine Learning workflows, teams can streamline the execution of repetitive tasks inherent in model development. Many modules and platforms, often labeled as autoML, are available to facilitate this process, enhancing efficiency and productivity.

AutoML leverages existing ML algorithms to facilitate the creation of novel Machine Learning models. It aims to minimize human intervention rather than automate the entire model development process. Doing so reduces the need for constant human interventions and ensures a more streamlined and successful development journey.

AutoML accelerates project initiation and completion, empowering developers to achieve faster results. Moreover, it holds promise for enhancing deep learning and unsupervised Machine Learning training processes, potentially enabling self-correction capabilities within the developed models. This transformative technology opens doors to increased efficiency and improved outcomes in Machine Learning endeavors.

Best Frameworks for Machine Learning Workflow Automation

  • TensorFlow Extended (TFX): TFX is an end-to-end Machine Learning platform by Google that provides a comprehensive set of tools for building, training, validating, and deploying Machine Learning models at scale. It offers data ingestion, preprocessing, model training, and serving components.
  • MLflow: MLflow is an open-source platform for managing the Machine Learning lifecycle. It provides tools for tracking experiments, packaging code, managing model versions, and deploying models in various environments.
  • tsfresh: tsfresh is a Python module that empowers you to compute and extract meaningful features from time series data. This open-source tool enables the extraction of feature characteristics, which can subsequently be utilized in conjunction with scikit-learn or pandas for training purposes. You can learn for free through our Python tutorial if you are new to Python.

Conclusion

Machine Learning is a booming technology and making an impact across several industries. For example, Machine Learning in ed-tech is changing the traditional education approach. Machine Learning can help in personalized learning, automated grading, adaptive assessments, and many more.

By following a systematic process encompassing data collection, preprocessing, model training, evaluation, and deployment, we can harness the power of Machine Learning to solve complex problems and unlock valuable insights from data.

Throughout this blog, we have explored the key stages of a Machine Learning workflow and the significance of each step. We have seen how data quality, feature selection, model training, and evaluation are crucial components that contribute to the success of a Machine Learning project.  Therefore it is necessary to understand the workflow of Machine Learning before you start building ML systems.

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