Book Image

The Machine Learning Solutions Architect Handbook

By : David Ping
Book Image

The Machine Learning Solutions Architect Handbook

By: David Ping

Overview of this book

When equipped with a highly scalable machine learning (ML) platform, organizations can quickly scale the delivery of ML products for faster business value realization. There is a huge demand for skilled ML solutions architects in different industries, and this handbook will help you master the design patterns, architectural considerations, and the latest technology insights you’ll need to become one. You’ll start by understanding ML fundamentals and how ML can be applied to solve real-world business problems. Once you've explored a few leading problem-solving ML algorithms, this book will help you tackle data management and get the most out of ML libraries such as TensorFlow and PyTorch. Using open source technology such as Kubernetes/Kubeflow to build a data science environment and ML pipelines will be covered next, before moving on to building an enterprise ML architecture using Amazon Web Services (AWS). You’ll also learn about security and governance considerations, advanced ML engineering techniques, and how to apply bias detection, explainability, and privacy in ML model development. By the end of this book, you’ll be able to design and build an ML platform to support common use cases and architecture patterns like a true professional.
Table of Contents (17 chapters)
Section 1: Solving Business Challenges with Machine Learning Solution Architecture
Section 2: The Science, Tools, and Infrastructure Platform for Machine Learning
Section 3: Technical Architecture Design and Regulatory Considerations for Enterprise ML Platforms

ML versus traditional software

Before I started working in the field of AI/ML, I spent many years building computer software platforms for large financial services institutions. Some of the business problems I worked on had complex rules, such as identifying companies for comparable analysis for investment banking deals, or creating a master database for all the different companies' identifiers from the different data providers. We had to implement hardcoded rules in database stored procedures and application server backends to solve these problems. We often debated if certain rules made sense or not for the business problems we tried to solve. As rules changed, we had to reimplement the rules and make sure the changes did not break anything. To test for new releases or changes, we often replied to human experts to exhaustively test and validate all the business logic implemented before the production release. It was a very time-consuming and error-prone process and required a significant amount of engineering, testing against the documented specification, and rigorous change management for deployment every time new rules were introduced, or existing rules needed to be changed. We often relied to users to report business logic issues in production, and when an issue was reported in production, we sometimes had to open up the source code to troubleshoot or explain the logic of how it worked. I remember I often asked myself if there were better ways to do this.

After I started working in the field of AI/ML, I started to solve many similar challenges using ML techniques. With ML, I did not need to come up with complex rules that often require deep data and domain expertise to create or maintain the complex rules for decision making. Instead, I focused on collecting high-quality data and used ML algorithms to learn the rules and patterns from the data directly. This new approach eliminated many of the challenging aspects of creating new rules (for example, a deep domain expertise requirement, or avoiding human bias) and maintaining existing rules. To validate the model before the production release, we could examine model performance metrics such as accuracy. While it still required data science expertise to interpret the model metrics against the nature of the business problems and dataset, it did not require exhaustive manual testing of all the different scenarios. When a model was deployed into production, we would monitor if the model performed as expected by monitoring any significant changes in production data versus the data we have collected for model training. We would collect new labels for production data and test the model performance periodically to ensure its predictive power had not degraded. To explain why a model made a decision the way it did, we did not need to open up source code to re-examine the hardcoded logic. Instead, we would rely on ML techniques to help explain the relative importance of different input features to understand what factors were most influential in the decision-making by the ML models.

The following figure (Figure 1.5) shows a graphical view of the process differences between developing a piece of software and training an ML model:

Figure 1.5 – ML and computer software

Figure 1.5 – ML and computer software

Now that you know the difference between ML and traditional software, it is time to dive deep into understanding the different stages in an ML life cycle.