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Category: Machine Learning

Plotting XGBoost Trees with R

Andrew Treadway shows off a method to visualize the results of training an XGBoost model:

In this post, we’re going to cover how to plot XGBoost trees in R. XGBoost is a very popular machine learning algorithm, which is frequently used in Kaggle competitions and has many practical use cases.

Let’s start by loading the packages we’ll need. Note that plotting XGBoost trees requires the DiagrammeR package to be installed, so even if you have xgboost installed already, you’ll need to make sure you have DiagrammeR also.

Click through for the process. H/T R-Bloggers.

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Predicting Insurance Prices with ML.NET

Chandra Kudumula shows off ML.NET:

There are three ways to begin with ML.NET

– API Model: You can start ML.NET through a Framework API and write code in C# or F#
– GUI Model: Use ML.NET Model builder in Visual Studio.
– CLI Model: For cross-platform development like Mac and Linux, use ML.NET CLI.

Let’s get started with API Model for predicting the insurance premium using ML.NET Framework.

I’m using Microsoft (MS) Visual Studio 2019 and creating a Console Application. Be sure that you have the latest version of VS and that .NET 5 SDK is installed.

Click through for the demo in Visual Studio using C#.

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Hyperparameter Tuning in Azure Machine Learning

Dinesh Asanka takes us through hyperparameter tuning with Azure Machine Learning’s designer:

In the above experiment, both the previous model and the TMH included the model so that we can compare both models. In the above experiment, Tune Model Hyperparameters control is inserted between the Split Data and Score Model controls as shown. In the TMH, control has three inputs. The first control needs the relevant technique and, in this scenario, it is the Two-Class Logistic Regression technique. The second input needs the train data set and the last input needs the evaluation data set and for that, the test data set can be used.

Tune Model Hyperparameters control provides the best combinations and it will be connected to the score model. After the test data stream is connected to the score model, the output of the model is connected to the second input of the Evaluate model so that the previous model and the tuned model can be compared.

I’m not sure if there’s something handled internally in the Tune Model Hyperparameters component, but based on the pipeline images, I’d actually want two separate Split components so that I ended up with something more like 50-20-30 for training, hyperparameter testing, and validation. The first two pipelines appear to be 70-30-0 instead, and so can give you a false sense of confidence in model quality.

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Drift Monitoring with Azure Machine Learning

I take a look at dataset drift monitoring in Azure Machine Learning:

One of the things I like to say about machine learning model is, “shift happens.” By that, I mean that models lose effectiveness over time due to changes in underlying circumstances. Relationships between variables that used to hold no longer do, and so our model quality degrades. This means that we sometimes need to retrain models.

But there’s a cost to retraining models—that work can be computationally expensive and time-consuming. This concern is particularly salient if you’re in a cloud, as you pay directly for everything there. This means that we don’t want to retrain models unless we need to. But when do we know if we should retrain the model? We can watch for model degradation, but there’s another method: drift detection in your datasets.

Read on for a demonstration of how the product works and a couple of things to keep in mind.

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Azure ML and Azure SQL DB

I remembered that I had another blog and actually wrote something technical:

Not too long ago, I worked through an interesting issue with Azure Machine Learning. The question was, what’s the best way to read from Azure SQL Database, perform model processing, and then write results out to Azure SQL Database? Oh, by the way, I want to use a service principal rather than SQL authentication. Here’s what I’ve got.

This turned out to be a lot more work than I first expected.

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Applied ML Prototypes

Alex Bleakley and Santiago Giraldo announce Applied ML Prototypes:

To directly address these challenges, we’ve released Applied ML Prototypes (AMPs) — a revolutionary new way of developing and shipping enterprise ML use cases — which provide complete ML projects that can be deployed with one click directly from Cloudera Machine Learning. AMPs enable data scientists to go from an idea to a fully working ML use case in a fraction of the time, with an end-to-end framework for building, deploying, and monitoring business-ready ML applications instantly. 

AMPs move the starting line for any ML project by enabling data scientists to start with a full end-to-end project developed for a similar use case, including a trained and deployed ML model, as well as prebuilt predictive business applications, out of the box. This means that ML development teams can tackle their own ML business use cases more quickly, from those involving churn modeling, to sentiment analysis, to anomaly detection and beyond.

Getting past the marketing fluff, there are some interesting ideas here.

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ML Services: PYTHONHOME and PATH

Niels Berglund troubleshoots some issues:

In the last post, which looks at using Python 3.9 in SQL Server Machine Learning Services, I wrote this at the very end:

It looks like all is good, but maybe not? In a future post we’ll look at an issue we have introduced – but for now, let us bask in the glory of having created a new Python language extension.

In the post, we wrote a new language extension to handle Python 3.9, and that just worked fine. However, when I was doing some other things, I noticed some side effects, and in this post, we look at those side effects and how to solve them.

Click through to learn more.

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Running an mlflow Server on Azure

Paul Hernandez configures mlflow on Azure using platform-as-a-service offerings:

It is indisputable true that mlflow came to make life a lot easier not only for data scientists but also for data engineers, architects among others. There is a very helpful list of tutorials and example in the official mlflow docs. You can just download it, open a console and start using it locally on your computer. This is the fastest way to getting started. However, as soon as you progress and introduce mlflow in your team, or you want to use it extensively for yourself, some components should be deployed outside your laptop.

To exercise a deployment setup and since I own azure experience, I decided to provision a couple of resources in the cloud to deploy the model registry and store the data produced by the tracking server.

I concur on the power of mlflow.

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