MLOps evolved in response to the growing need for companies to implement machine learning and artificial intelligence models to streamline their workflows and generate better revenue from their business operations. Today, MLOps has become a household name among top business owners. The MLOps market is expected to reach a valuation of USD 5.9 billion by 2027, up from about USD 1.1 billion in 2022.
Two of the most important aspects of MLOps include model monitoring and governance. Model monitoring and governance can be used to introduce automated processes for monitoring, validating, and tracking machine learning models in production environments. It is mainly implemented to adhere to safety and security measures, follow the necessary rules and regulations, and ensure compliance with ethical and legal standards.
This blog delves into the complexities associated with model monitoring and governance implementation while underscoring the pivotal role of integrating model governance within a comprehensive framework. Dive deeper to gain insights into its potential future developments and explore how Indium Software can provide exceptional support for establishing a robust system.
Organizations need to assess the relevance of MLOps in their operations to ascertain the necessity of MLOps governance and monitoring. When the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, businesses will be motivated to diligently and systematically establish MLOps governance and monitoring protocols without exception.
Let’s examine the advantages of MLOps to understand their implications for monitoring and governance.
Streamlined ML lifecycle: Inheriting tools such as MLflow, TensorBoard, DataRobot, and other practices ensure an efficient and optimized ML lifecycle. Setting up a streamlined ML lifecycle allows for a seamless and automated transition between each stage of the machine learning journey, from data handling to model rollout.
Continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD): The extended principle of DevOps assists organizations with automated testing, validation, and seamless deployment of models. This availability for MLOps ensures that the ML systems remain reliable and up-to-date throughout their lifecycle, enhancing overall efficiency and reliability.
Accelerated time-to-market: By using the concept of CI/CD in MLOps, a faster and more reliable methodology is achieved, where the dependencies on human resources are minimized. Enhancingtly, enhancing the speed and reliability of getting machine learning models into production ultimately benefits the organization’s agility and ability to respond quickly to changing business needs. The whitepaper offers an in-depth expert analysis, providing a comprehensive grasp of MLOps within Time to Market (TTM).
Scalability: Given the complexity of machine learning operations, MLOps practices facilitate an easy and relaxed approach for organizations handling complex and large data sets. Practices such as automation, version control, and streamlined workflows assist in efficiently managing and expanding ML workloads, ensuring that the infrastructure and processes can adapt to growing demands without overwhelming the team.
MLOps seeks to refine and automate the entire ML lifecycle, transforming how organizations handle ML models. However, this brings distinct challenges to monitoring and governance. While monitoring emphasizes consistently assessing model performance and resource use, governance ensures models meet compliance, ethical standards, and organizational goals. Navigating the below challenges is essential for tapping into ML’s potential to maintain transparency, fairness, and efficiency.
Model drift detection: An underlying change in the statistical properties of the data, such as a change in trend, behavioral patterns, or other extra influences, can lead to a decline in model performance and efficiency. Detecting the drift through rigorous monitoring against actual outcomes and using statistical tests to identify significant deviations often requires model retraining or recalibration to align with the new data distribution. This unforeseen model drift persists as a challenge for MLOps monitoring and governance.
Consider the scenario where a leading fintech company deploys an ML model to regulate loan defaults. With exemplary performances during the initial stages, the model began to fall short in its performance as the economic downturn impacted the financial behaviors of borrowers. Functioning based on real-world input data, the model drifts. If robust MLOP (Machine Learning Operations) monitoring were implemented, it could detect model drift, resulting in actions such as canceling loans for defaults, evaluating proficient borrowers, enhancing credit score management, and streamlining other procedures. The imperative to model monitoring for drift is highly commendable to prevent any financial loss or to land in any monetary fraudulent situation.
Performance metrics monitoring: The significance of selecting the right metrics, setting dynamic thresholds, balancing trade-offs, and ensuring ethical considerations and regulatory compliance, unlike traditional software models, is major in performance metric checking. This intricacy goes beyond just quantifying model behavior and thereby involves continuous monitoring, interpreting metrics in context, and effectively communicating their implications to stakeholders, making it a multifaceted challenge in ML governance.
Interpretability and transparency: A readable and predictable model is pivotal for organizations’ decisions. Advanced models, such as deep neural networks, popularly termed black boxes, appear complex and decipherable. Without transparency, detecting biases, ensuring regulatory compliance, building trust, and establishing feedback mechanisms become problematic. A few methods or techniques, such as Partial Dependence Plots (PDP), Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations (LIME), Shapely Addictive explanations (SHAP), and Rule-Based Models are suggestions that can be employed to enhance interpretability This hardship exhibits governance challenges that must be outsmarted by balancing high-performance modeling with interpretability in the MLOps landscape.
Audit traits: Establishing a systematic record of events throughout the lifecycle of an ML model is essential for ensuring transparency and accountability. Given the immense volume of data growth, the demand for secure, tamper-proof, and real-time logging and integration across various tools such as MLflow, TensorBoard, Amazon SageMaker model monitor, Data version control, Apache Kafka, and many more is becoming increasingly imperative. This underscores a significant challenge in terms of governance and monitoring. Therefore, a robust and comprehensive approach to model monitoring and governance guarantees.
Model versioning & rollback: Tracking different iterations of machine learning models with a rollback to a previous model version is coupled with their dependencies on specific data, libraries, and configurations. This dynamic nature of ML models makes it subjective to maintain clear rollback logs for compliance, coordinate rollbacks across teams, and manage user impact, delivering serious challenges for governance and monitoring.
Below are some of the practical approaches to model versioning that can be implemented to combat the challenges of model monitoring and governance.
Version control systems: Leveraging traditional methods such as Git assists in tracking the changes in the model code, data preprocessing scripts, and configuration files by accessing the history of model development and allowing you to roll back to previous states.
Containerization: Utilizing platforms like Docker, where the entire model is locked in a container along with its dependencies and configurations, ensures that the model’s environment is consistent across different stages of development and production.
Model Versioning Tools: Using tools or platforms such as MLflow or DVC, dedicatedly designed for tracking machine learning models, their dependencies, and data lineage, where they offer features for model versioning and rollback.
Model Deployment Environments: Isolating every stage of the model environment, such as development, testing, and production, helps check for updates that are thoroughly tested before being deployed.
Artifact Repositories: Establish artifact repositories like AWS S3, Azure Blob Storage, or a dedicated model registry to store model artifacts, such as trained model weights, serialized models, and associated metadata. This makes it easy to retrieve and deploy specific model versions.
Resource utilization: Managing computational resources used by ML models throughout their lifecycle is crucial, especially given scalability demands, specific hardware needs, and cost considerations in cloud settings. While resource utilization is key to operational efficiency and cost control, governance, and monitoring face challenges in maintaining budgets, optimizing performance, and offering transparent resource usage reports.
Ensuring robust monitoring and governance systems is paramount for companies aiming for peak productivity in MLOps. Existing rules and regulations mandate specific standards and practices that companies must adhere to in their MLOps monitoring and governance efforts, including the
However, even with the regulations and legal aspects in place, ML systems may be exposed to various risks. There is always a chance of ML systems being exposed to security threats and data breaches. A company may also have to deal with legal consequences if any machine learning models fail to comply with the legal requirements. This can ultimately lead to huge financial losses for businesses.
With multiple benefits circulating from implementing model monitoring and governance, let’s infer the primary significance of organizations having a head-start on capitalizing on model monitoring and governance.
The implementation process for an MLOps monitoring and governance framework involves the following steps:
Pick the right framework that suits the business’s needs
It is important to pick a monitoring and governance model that aligns with the company’s goals. Companies mostly need ML governance models for risk mitigation, compliance with regulations, traceability, and accountability. Different monitoring and governance models are available, including centralized models, decentralized models, hybrid models, etc., and the choice of machine learning model will depend on the size and complexity of the business, the industry in which the business operates, etc.
Implement the monitoring and governance framework in the business infrastructure
With multiple ways to implement a governance model, the perfect process depends on the existing infrastructure. Injecting an SDK (Software Development Kit) into the machine learning code is one way of implementing MLOps governance. An SDK offers interfaces and libraries for implementing various machine-learning tasks. It also helps with bias, drift, performance, and anomaly detection. These days, SDKs can also be used as version control mechanisms for ML systems.
Make the governance model comply with industrial standards
Once the implementation phase is complete, it is time to make the MLOps model comply with the relevant regulations. Failing to comply with regulations can lead to legal consequences, including fines, penalties, and legal actions. So, organizations must consider the present regulations for MLOps business models and ensure that their ML models comply with the regulatory standards.
Here’s what the future of model monitoring and governance looks like:
In the future, the main focus of model monitoring and governance will lie in risk management and compliance with regulatory and ethical standards. However, we are also witnessing a shift in trend towards social responsibility. Within the next five years, companies will start implementing model monitoring and governance as a part of their obligation to society. With time, MLOps tools and frameworks will also become more sophisticated. These tools will help avoid costly AI errors and huge financial losses.
Indium Software specializes in assisting businesses in automating ML lifecycles in production to maximize the return on their MLOps investment. We also support the implementation of model monitoring and governance in various office settings by leveraging the power of well-known ML frameworks. With over seven years of experience creating ML models and implementing model monitoring and governance solutions, our team brings exceptional technical knowledge and expertise.
Through our tested solutions, businesses can improve performance and streamline their procedures. Additionally, our services have been shown to reduce time to market by up to 40% and enhance model performance by 30%. Furthermore, we can help businesses reduce the cost of ML operations by up to 20%.
In this way, the emergence of MLOps implementation can allow businesses to make the most of ML systems. However, simply implementing MLOps is not enough. Implementing model monitoring and governance frameworks to ensure ML systems’ reliability, accountability, and ethical use is equally important.
To further explore the world of model monitoring and governance implementation and discover how it can optimize your ML operations, we invite you to contact the experts at Indium Software.
By Uma Raj
By Uma Raj
By Abishek Balakumar
Indium Software is a leading digital engineering company that provides Application Engineering, Cloud Engineering, Data and Analytics, DevOps, Digital Assurance, and Gaming services. We assist companies in their digital transformation journey at every stage of digital adoption, allowing them to become market leaders.