Tracking Machine Learning Models

Rishiraj Acharya
4 min readJan 15, 2023

Machine learning (ML) is a powerful tool that enables computers to learn from data and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed. However, training an ML model is a complex process that requires careful monitoring and tracking of various parameters to ensure that the model is working as expected and producing accurate results. In this blog post, we will discuss the various things that need to be tracked or monitored while training an ML model and introduce some popular tracking platforms that can help with this task.

Loss Function

The loss function is one of the most important metrics to track while training a machine learning model. The loss function measures the difference between the predicted output and the actual output of the model. As the model is trained, the loss function should decrease, indicating that the model is becoming more accurate. Common loss functions include mean squared error (MSE) and categorical cross-entropy (CCE).

Accuracy

Accuracy is another key metric to track while training a machine learning model. Accuracy measures the proportion of correct predictions made by the model. As the model is trained, the accuracy should increase, indicating that the model is becoming more accurate. However, it is important to note that accuracy alone is not always a good indicator of model performance. For example, a model that always predicts the majority class will have a high accuracy, but will not be useful for making predictions for the minority class.

Precision and Recall

Precision and recall are two other important metrics to track while training a machine learning model. Precision measures the proportion of true positive predictions made by the model, while recall measures the proportion of true positive predictions made by the model out of all actual positive cases. A high precision means that the model is not making many false positive predictions, while a high recall means that the model is correctly identifying most positive cases.

F1 Score

The F1 score is a metric that combines precision and recall into a single score. The F1 score is calculated as the harmonic mean of precision and recall. A high F1 score indicates that the model is making accurate predictions and correctly identifying most positive cases.

Confusion Matrix

A confusion matrix is a table that is used to visualize the performance of a machine learning model. The confusion matrix shows the number of true positive, true negative, false positive, and false negative predictions made by the model. The confusion matrix can be used to calculate precision, recall, and the F1 score.

Learning Rate

The learning rate is a parameter that controls how fast the model is trained. A high learning rate means that the model is updating its weights quickly, while a low learning rate means that the model is updating its weights slowly. It is important to monitor the learning rate while training a machine learning model to ensure that the model is not overfitting or underfitting the data.

Batch Size

The batch size is another important parameter to monitor while training a machine learning model. The batch size determines the number of training examples that are used to update the model’s weights at one time. A larger batch size can lead to faster training, but can also lead to overfitting. A smaller batch size can help prevent overfitting, but may lead to slower training.

Tracking Platforms

One way to monitor and track these metrics is through the use of tracking platforms such as Weights & Biases (W&B). W&B is an experiment management platform that allows you to track and visualize model performance, as well as share and collaborate with others. It can be easily integrated with popular machine learning frameworks such as TensorFlow, Keras, and PyTorch.

W&B allows you to log various metrics, such as accuracy and loss, during training and visualize them in real-time. This makes it easy to see how the model is performing and identify any potential issues. Additionally, W&B allows you to log other information such as the parameters used for training, the dataset used, and the code used to train the model. This allows you to easily reproduce results and compare different versions of the model.

Another feature of W&B is its ability to log and visualize model predictions, which can be useful for identifying patterns in the data that the model is having difficulty with. This can help you to identify areas where the model needs to be improved and to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the model.

Another popular platform is TensorBoard which is an open-source web-based tool that can be used to visualize the performance of machine learning models. It can be used to track a wide range of metrics, including accuracy, loss, and the performance of the model on different subsets of the data. TensorBoard can also be used to visualize the architecture of the model, which can be useful for understanding how the model is making predictions.

Conclusion

In summary, monitoring and tracking various performance metrics, such as accuracy, loss, and performance on different subsets of the data, is crucial when training a machine learning model. Platforms like Weights & Biases and TensorBoard can help make this process easier by providing real-time visualizations and easy collaboration. With the help of these tracking platforms, you can ensure that your machine learning model is performing well and identify any potential issues early on, which can save you time and resources in the long run.

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Rishiraj Acharya

Google Developer Expert in ML | Hugging Face Fellow | GSoC '22 at TensorFlow | TFUG Kolkata Organizer | Kaggle Master | Dynopii ML Engineer