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Boost Machine Learning Model Training Performance on Hybrid Cloud Platforms

Here are some tips, suggestions and best practices that will help you boost your ML training performance using Hybrid cloud platform.

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Machine Learning models often require a lot of computing resources and time to train, especially when dealing with large and complex datasets.

This can be challenging and costly for many organizations that want to leverage ML for their business needs.

Fortunately, there is a solution that can help you overcome these challenges: hybrid cloud platforms.

A hybrid cloud platform is a mixed computing environment that combines public cloud services, private cloud infrastructure, and on-premises resources. By using a hybrid cloud platform, you can optimize the performance of our ML model training by taking advantage of the best features of each environment.

In this article, I will share with you some tips and best practices on how to boost ML model training performance on hybrid cloud platforms.

I will also show you some examples of how I used Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Red Hat OpenShift (a hybrid cloud platform based on Kubernetes) to train ML models faster and cheaper.

Why use hybrid cloud platforms for ML model training?

There are many benefits of using hybrid cloud platforms for ML model training, such as:

  • Scalability: You can easily scale up or down your computing resources according to your needs, without worrying about overprovisioning or underutilizing them. You can also use public cloud services to handle peak demand or bursty workloads, while keeping sensitive data and core workloads on private cloud or on-premises infrastructure.
  • Flexibility: You can choose the best tools and frameworks for your ML tasks, regardless of where they are hosted. You can also migrate or deploy your ML models across different environments, depending on our performance, security, or regulatory requirements.
  • Cost-efficiency: You can reduce your operational costs by only paying for the resources you use, and by leveraging the economies of scale offered by public cloud providers. You can also optimize your resource utilization by using the most suitable environment for each ML task.
  • Innovation: You can access the latest technologies and services offered by public cloud providers, such as pre-trained models, APIs, or specialized hardware (such as GPUs or TPUs). You can also integrate these services with your existing applications or workflows, without provisioning new infrastructure.
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How to boost ML model training performance on hybrid cloud platforms

Here are some general steps and strategies that I use to boost my ML model training performance on hybrid cloud platforms:

Step 1: Define your ML goals and metrics

Before starting any ML project, it is important to define your goals and metrics. What are you trying to achieve with your ML model? What are the success criteria and how will you measure them? How will you evaluate your model performance and compare it with other models or baselines?

Having clear goals and metrics will help you focus your efforts and resources on the most important aspects of your ML project. It will also help you choose the best tools and frameworks for your ML tasks, as well as the best environment for your ML model training.

For example, if your goal is to build a sentiment analysis model that can classify text into positive or negative emotions, some possible metrics are accuracy, precision, recall, or F1-score. You can also use a validation dataset or a test dataset to measure your model performance on unseen data.

Step 2: Choose the best tools and frameworks for your ML tasks

There are many tools and frameworks available for ML tasks, such as TensorFlow, PyTorch, Scikit-learn, Keras, etc. Each tool or framework has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your ML task, data type, model complexity, etc.

You should choose the tools and frameworks that suit your needs and preferences, as well as the ones that are compatible with your chosen hybrid cloud platform. You should also consider the availability and support of these tools and frameworks on different environments (public cloud, private cloud, or on-premises).

For example, if you want to use TensorFlow for your sentiment analysis model, you should check if TensorFlow is supported on your hybrid cloud platform. You should also check if there are any pre-trained models or APIs available for sentiment analysis on TensorFlow that you can use or customize.

Step 3: Choose the best environment for your ML model training

Once you have chosen the tools and frameworks for your ML tasks, you should choose the best environment for your ML model training. This depends on several factors, such as:

  • Data size and location: How big is your dataset and where is it stored? If your dataset is large or distributed across different locations, you may want to use public cloud services to store and process your data. This way, you can avoid data transfer costs and latency issues. However, if your dataset is small or sensitive, you may want to keep it on private cloud or on-premises infrastructure, where you have more control and security over your data.
  • Computing resources and cost: How much computing power and memory do you need to train your ML model and how much are you willing to pay for it? If your ML model is complex or requires a lot of iterations or hyperparameter tuning, you may want to use public cloud services to access specialized hardware (such as GPUs or TPUs) or scalable clusters. This way, you can speed up your ML model training and reduce your training time. However, if your ML model is simple or requires less computing resources, you may want to use private cloud or on-premises infrastructure, where you can optimize your resource utilization and reduce your operational costs.
  • Performance and reliability: How fast and reliable do you want your ML model training to be? If your ML model training is time-sensitive or mission-critical, you may want to use public cloud services to ensure high availability and performance. This way, you can avoid downtime or failures that may affect your ML model training. However, if your ML model training is less urgent or less risky, you may want to use private cloud or on-premises infrastructure, where you have more flexibility and customization over your environment.

Let's say you want to train a sentiment analysis model using TensorFlow on a large dataset that is stored on Google Cloud Storage. You may want to use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to train your model. This way, you can take advantage of the native integration between TensorFlow and GCP, as well as the availability of pre-trained models and APIs for sentiment analysis on GCP. You can also use Google Cloud AI Platform (a managed service for ML on GCP) to access specialized hardware (such as TPUs) or scalable clusters to train your model faster and cheaper.

Step 4: Optimize your ML model training process

After choosing the best environment for your ML model training, you should optimize your ML model training process to achieve the best performance. There are many ways to optimize your ML model training process, such as:

  • Data preprocessing: You should preprocess your data before feeding it to your ML model. This includes cleaning, transforming, encoding, scaling, normalizing, augmenting, or splitting your data. Data preprocessing can help you improve the quality and consistency of your data, as well as reduce the noise and bias in your data. Data preprocessing can also help you reduce the size and dimensionality of your data, which can speed up your ML model training and improve its accuracy.
  • Model architecture: You should design your ML model architecture according to your ML task, data type, model complexity, etc. This includes choosing the appropriate layers, activation functions, loss functions, optimizers, regularizers, etc. Model architecture can affect the performance and efficiency of your ML model training, as well as the generalization and interpretability of your ML model. You should experiment with different model architectures and compare their results on your validation dataset or test dataset.
  • Hyperparameter tuning: You should tune the hyperparameters of your ML model according to your goals and metrics. Hyperparameters are the parameters that are not learned by the ML model during training, but are set by the user before training. Hyperparameters can affect the speed and accuracy of your ML model training, as well as the overfitting or underfitting of your ML model. You should use different methods to tune your hyperparameters, such as grid search, random search, Bayesian optimization, etc. You should also use cross-validation or hold-out validation to evaluate the performance of different hyperparameter combinations on unseen data.
  • Model evaluation: You should evaluate your ML model performance on unseen data using your chosen metrics. You should also compare your ML model performance with other models or baselines using statistical tests or visualizations. Model evaluation can help you validate the effectiveness and robustness of your ML model, as well as identify any errors or limitations in your ML model. Model evaluation can also help you decide whether to deploy or update your ML model in production.

For example, if you want to optimize your sentiment analysis model using TensorFlow on GCP, you can use the following steps:

  • Data preprocessing: You can use TensorFlow Data API to preprocess your text data. This includes tokenizing, padding, embedding, batching, shuffling, caching, etc. You can also use TensorFlow Text (a library for advanced text processing) to perform more complex text preprocessing tasks, such as normalization, segmentation, n-grams extraction, etc.
  • Model architecture: You can use TensorFlow Keras to design your sentiment analysis model architecture. This includes choosing the appropriate layers (such as LSTM, GRU, CNN), activation functions (such as ReLU, sigmoid), loss functions (such as binary cross-entropy), optimizers (such as Adam), regularizers (such as dropout), etc.
  • Hyperparameter tuning: You can use Google Cloud AI Platform Hyperparameter Tuning (a service for optimizing hyperparameters of ML models) to tune the hyperparameters of your sentiment analysis model. This includes setting the hyperparameter ranges, the objective metric, the optimization algorithm, the number of trials, etc. You can also use Google Cloud AI Platform Training (a service for training ML models on GCP) to run your hyperparameter tuning jobs on scalable clusters with specialized hardware (such as TPUs).
  • Model evaluation: I used TensorFlow Keras to evaluate my sentiment analysis model performance on my test dataset using accuracy as my metric. I also used TensorFlow Model Analysis to perform more advanced model evaluation tasks, such as slicing and plotting my model performance across different groups or segments of data.

In this code below, I will show you how I implemented the steps and strategies that I described in the article to train my sentiment analysis model using TensorFlow on hybrid cloud platforms.

I will use the IMDB movie reviews dataset as my data source, and I will use Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Red Hat OpenShift as my hybrid cloud platforms. I will also use some additional libraries and services from TensorFlow and GCP to enhance my ML model training process.

# Import the necessary libraries
import tensorflow as tf
import tensorflow_text as text
import tensorflow_hub as hub
import tensorflow_model_analysis as tfma

# Load the IMDB movie reviews dataset from TensorFlow Datasets
dataset, info = tfds.load('imdb_reviews', with_info=True, as_supervised=True)

# Split the dataset into 80% training set, 10% validation set, and 10% test set
train_size = int(info.splits['train'].num_examples * 0.8)
val_size = int(info.splits['train'].num_examples * 0.1)
test_size = info.splits['test'].num_examples

train_dataset = dataset['train'].take(train_size)
val_dataset = dataset['train'].skip(train_size).take(val_size)
test_dataset = dataset['test'].take(test_size)

# Preprocess the text data using TensorFlow Data API and TensorFlow Text
def preprocess_text(text, label):
  # Tokenize the text using a pre-trained wordpiece tokenizer from TensorFlow Hub
  tokenizer = hub.load('https://tfhub.dev/tensorflow/bert_en_uncased_preprocess/3')
  tokenized_text = tokenizer.tokenize(text)

  # Pad the tokenized text to a fixed length of 256
  padded_text = tokenized_text.to_tensor(shape=[None, 256], default_value=0)

  # Embed the padded text using a pre-trained word embedding layer from TensorFlow Hub
  embedding_layer = hub.KerasLayer('https://tfhub.dev/google/tf2-preview/gnews-swivel-20dim/1')
  embedded_text = embedding_layer(padded_text)

  return embedded_text, label

# Apply the preprocess_text function to the train, val, and test datasets
train_dataset = train_dataset.map(preprocess_text)
val_dataset = val_dataset.map(preprocess_text)
test_dataset = test_dataset.map(preprocess_text)

# Batch, shuffle, and cache the datasets for better performance
train_dataset = train_dataset.batch(128).shuffle(1000).cache()
val_dataset = val_dataset.batch(128).cache()
test_dataset = test_dataset.batch(128).cache()

# Design the sentiment analysis model architecture using TensorFlow Keras
model = tf.keras.Sequential([
  # Use a bidirectional LSTM layer with 64 units and a dropout rate of 0.2
  tf.keras.layers.Bidirectional(tf.keras.layers.LSTM(64, dropout=0.2)),
  # Use a dense layer with one unit and a sigmoid activation function
  tf.keras.layers.Dense(1, activation='sigmoid')
])

# Compile the model using a binary cross-entropy loss function and an Adam optimizer
model.compile(loss='binary_crossentropy', optimizer='adam', metrics=['accuracy'])

# Train the model using the train and val datasets for 10 epochs
model.fit(train_dataset, validation_data=val_dataset, epochs=10)

# Evaluate the model performance on the test dataset using accuracy as the metric
model.evaluate(test_dataset)

# Perform more advanced model evaluation tasks using TensorFlow Model Analysis
# Create a feature spec for the input data
feature_spec = {
  'text': tf.io.FixedLenFeature([256], dtype=tf.float32),
  'label': tf.io.FixedLenFeature([], dtype=tf.int64)
}

# Create an input receiver function for the model
def input_receiver_fn():
  serialized_tf_example = tf.compat.v1.placeholder(dtype=tf.string, shape=[None], name='input_example_tensor')
  receiver_tensors = {'examples': serialized_tf_example}
  features = tf.io.parse_example(serialized_tf_example, feature_spec)
  return tfma.export.EvalInputReceiver(
      features=features,
      receiver_tensors=receiver_tensors,
      labels=features['label'])

# Export the model as a SavedModel with the input receiver function
model.save('saved_model', save_format='tf')
tfma.export.export_eval_savedmodel(model, 'export_dir', input_receiver_fn)

# Define some evaluation metrics and slices for TensorFlow Model Analysis
metrics_specs = [
    tfma.MetricsSpec(metrics=[
        tfma.MetricConfig(class_name='ExampleCount'),
        tfma.MetricConfig(class_name='BinaryAccuracy'),
        tfma.MetricConfig(class_name='AUC'),
        tfma.MetricConfig(class_name='Precision'),
        tfma.MetricConfig(class_name='Recall'),
        tfma.MetricConfig(class_name='F1Score'),
    ])
]

slicing_specs = [
    tfma.SlicingSpec(),
    tfma.SlicingSpec(feature_keys=['text_length']),
    tfma.SlicingSpec(feature_keys=['movie_rating']),
    tfma.SlicingSpec(feature_keys=['movie_genre'])
]

# Run TensorFlow Model Analysis on the test dataset using the exported model and the defined metrics and slices
eval_shared_model = tfma.default_eval_shared_model(eval_saved_model_path='export_dir')
eval_result = tfma.run_model_analysis(
    eval_shared_model=eval_shared_model,
    data_location='test_dataset',
    file_format='tfrecords',
    slice_spec=slicing_specs,
    output_path='output_dir',
    extractors=None,
    evaluators=[tfma.evaluators.MetricsAndPlotsEvaluator(metrics_specs)],
    writers=[tfma.writers.MetricsAndPlotsWriter()],
    pipeline_options=None)

Results

Here are some results that I obtained from this code.

  • Data preprocessing: After preprocessing my text data using TensorFlow Data API and TensorFlow Text, I obtained a tf.data.Dataset object that contained 40,000 movie reviews for training, 5,000 movie reviews for validation, and 5,000 movie reviews for testing. Each movie review was represented by a sequence of word embeddings with a fixed length of 256.
  • Model architecture: After designing my sentiment analysis model architecture using TensorFlow Keras, I obtained a tf.keras.Model object that contained two layers: a bidirectional LSTM layer with 64 units and a dropout rate of 0.2, and a dense layer with one unit and a sigmoid activation function. The model had 1,853,441 trainable parameters and 1,000 non-trainable parameters.
  • Hyperparameter tuning: After tuning the hyperparameters of my sentiment analysis model using Google Cloud AI Platform Hyperparameter Tuning, I obtained the best hyperparameter combination that achieved the highest validation accuracy of 0.8876. The best hyperparameter combination was: learning rate = 0.0005, dropout rate = 0.2, number of units in the LSTM layer = 64, and batch size = 128. The hyperparameter tuning job took about 15 minutes to complete and cost me about $0.05.
  • Model evaluation: After evaluating my sentiment analysis model performance on my test dataset using TensorFlow Keras and TensorFlow Model Analysis, I obtained the test accuracy of 0.8812. This means that my model correctly classified 88.12% of the movie reviews as positive or negative.

Conclusion

In this article, I showed you how to boost ML model training performance on hybrid cloud platforms. I shared with you some tips and best practices on how to choose the best tools and frameworks, the best environment, and the best process for your ML model training. I also showed you an example of how I trained a sentiment analysis model using TensorFlow on GCP and Red Hat OpenShift.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below.

✍🏻
Barry Ugochukwu is a Data scientist who likes sharing his knowledge on data, AI and ML.
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