ML Metadata (MLMD) is a library for recording and retrieving metadata associated with ML developer and data scientist workflows. MLMD is an integral part of TensorFlow Extended (TFX), but is designed so that it can be used independently.
Every run of a production ML pipeline generates metadata containing information about the various pipeline components, their executions (e.g. training runs), and resulting artifacts(e.g. trained models). In the event of unexpected pipeline behavior or errors, this metadata can be leveraged to analyze the lineage of pipeline components and debug issues.Think of this metadata as the equivalent of logging in software development.
MLMD helps you understand and analyze all the interconnected parts of your ML pipeline instead of analyzing them in isolation and can help you answer questions about your ML pipeline such as:
- Which dataset did the model train on?
- What were the hyperparameters used to train the model?
- Which pipeline run created the model?
- Which training run led to this model?
- Which version of TensorFlow created this model?
- When was the failed model pushed?
MLMD registers the following types of metadata in a database called the Metadata Store.
- Metadata about the artifacts generated through the components/steps of your ML pipelines
- Metadata about the executions of these components/steps
- Metadata about pipelines and associated lineage information
The Metadata Store provides APIs to record and retrieve metadata to and from the storage backend. The storage backend is pluggable and can be extended. MLMD provides reference implementations for SQLite (which supports in-memory and disk) and MySQL out of the box.
This graphic shows a high-level overview of the various components that are part of MLMD.
Metadata storage backends and store connection configuration
MetadataStore object receives a connection configuration that corresponds
to the storage backend used.
- Fake Database provides an in-memory DB (using SQLite) for fast experimentation and local runs. The database is deleted when the store object is destroyed.
import ml_metadata as mlmd from ml_metadata.proto import metadata_store_pb2 connection_config = metadata_store_pb2.ConnectionConfig() connection_config.fake_database.SetInParent() # Sets an empty fake database proto. store = metadata_store.MetadataStore(connection_config)
- SQLite reads and writes files from disk.
connection_config = metadata_store_pb2.ConnectionConfig() connection_config.sqlite.filename_uri = '...' connection_config.sqlite.connection_mode = 3 # READWRITE_OPENCREATE store = metadata_store.MetadataStore(connection_config)
- MySQL connects to a MySQL server.
connection_config = metadata_store_pb2.ConnectionConfig() connection_config.mysql.host = '...' connection_config.mysql.port = '...' connection_config.mysql.database = '...' connection_config.mysql.user = '...' connection_config.mysql.password = '...' store = metadata_store.MetadataStore(connection_config)
The Metadata Store uses the following data model to record and retrieve metadata from the storage backend.
ArtifactTypedescribes an artifact's type and its properties that are stored in the metadata store. You can register these types on-the-fly with the metadata store in code, or you can load them in the store from a serialized format. Once you register a type, its definition is available throughout the lifetime of the store.
Artifactdescribes a specific instance of an
ArtifactType, and its properties that are written to the metadata store.
ExecutionTypedescribes a type of component or step in a workflow, and its runtime parameters.
Executionis a record of a component run or a step in an ML workflow and the runtime parameters. An execution can be thought of as an instance of an
ExecutionType. Executions are recorded when you run an ML pipeline or step.
Eventis a record of the relationship between artifacts and executions. When an execution happens, events record every artifact that was used by the execution, and every artifact that was produced. These records allow for lineage tracking throughout a workflow. By looking at all events, MLMD knows what executions happened and what artifacts were created as a result. MLMD can then recurse back from any artifact to all of its upstream inputs.
ContextTypedescribes a type of conceptual group of artifacts and executions in a workflow, and its structural properties. For example: projects, pipeline runs, experiments, owners etc.
Contextis an instance of a
ContextType. It captures the shared information within the group. For example: project name, changelist commit id, experiment annotations etc. It has a user-defined unique name within its
Attributionis a record of the relationship between artifacts and contexts.
Associationis a record of the relationship between executions and contexts.
Tracking the inputs and outputs of all components/steps in an ML workflow and their lineage allows ML platforms to enable several important features. The following list provides a non-exhaustive overview of some of the major benefits.
- List all Artifacts of a specific type. Example: all Models that have been trained.
- Load two Artifacts of the same type for comparison. Example: compare results from two experiments.
- Show a DAG of all related executions and their input and output artifacts of a context. Example: visualize the workflow of an experiment for debugging and discovery.
- Recurse back through all events to see how an artifact was created. Examples: see what data went into a model; enforce data retention plans.
- Identify all artifacts that were created using a given artifact. Examples: see all Models trained from a specific dataset; mark models based upon bad data.
- Determine if an execution has been run on the same inputs before. Example: determine whether a component/step has already completed the same work and the previous output can just be reused.
- Record and query context of workflow runs. Examples: track the owner and changelist used for a workflow run; group the lineage by experiments; manage artifacts by projects.
See the MLMD tutorial for an example that shows you how to use the MLMD API and the metadata store to retrieve lineage information.
Integrate ML Metadata into your ML Workflows
If you are a platform developer interested in integrating MLMD into your system, use the example workflow below to use the low-level MLMD APIs to track the execution of a training task. You can also use higher-level Python APIs in notebook environments to record experiment metadata.
1) Register artifact types
# Create ArtifactTypes, e.g., Data and Model data_type = metadata_store_pb2.ArtifactType() data_type.name = "DataSet" data_type.properties["day"] = metadata_store_pb2.INT data_type.properties["split"] = metadata_store_pb2.STRING data_type_id = store.put_artifact_type(data_type) model_type = metadata_store_pb2.ArtifactType() model_type.name = "SavedModel" model_type.properties["version"] = metadata_store_pb2.INT model_type.properties["name"] = metadata_store_pb2.STRING model_type_id = store.put_artifact_type(model_type)
2) Register execution types for all steps in the ML workflow
# Create an ExecutionType, e.g., Trainer trainer_type = metadata_store_pb2.ExecutionType() trainer_type.name = "Trainer" trainer_type.properties["state"] = metadata_store_pb2.STRING trainer_type_id = store.put_execution_type(trainer_type)
3) Create an artifact of DataSet ArtifactType
# Create an input artifact of type DataSet data_artifact = metadata_store_pb2.Artifact() data_artifact.uri = 'path/to/data' data_artifact.properties["day"].int_value = 1 data_artifact.properties["split"].string_value = 'train' data_artifact.type_id = data_type_id data_artifact_id = store.put_artifacts([data_artifact])
4) Create the execution for the Trainer run (typically a
trainer_run = metadata_store_pb2.Execution() trainer_run.type_id = trainer_type_id trainer_run.properties["state"].string_value = "RUNNING" run_id = store.put_executions([trainer_run])
5) Define the input event and read data
# Define the input event input_event = metadata_store_pb2.Event() input_event.artifact_id = data_artifact_id input_event.execution_id = run_id input_event.type = metadata_store_pb2.Event.DECLARED_INPUT # Record the input event in the metadata store store.put_events([input_event])
6) Declare the output artifact
# Declare the output artifact of type SavedModel model_artifact = metadata_store_pb2.Artifact() model_artifact.uri = 'path/to/model/file' model_artifact.properties["version"].int_value = 1 model_artifact.properties["name"].string_value = 'MNIST-v1' model_artifact.type_id = model_type_id model_artifact_id = store.put_artifacts([model_artifact])
7) Record the output event
# Declare the output event output_event = metadata_store_pb2.Event() output_event.artifact_id = model_artifact_id output_event.execution_id = run_id output_event.type = metadata_store_pb2.Event.DECLARED_OUTPUT # Submit output event to the Metadata Store store.put_events([output_event])
8) Mark the execution as completed
trainer_run.id = run_id trainer_run.properties["state"].string_value = "COMPLETED" store.put_executions([trainer_run])
9) Group artifacts and executions under a context using attributions and assertions artifacts
# Create a ContextType, e.g., Experiment with a note property experiment_type = metadata_store_pb2.ContextType() experiment_type.name = "Experiment" experiment_type.properties["note"] = metadata_store_pb2.STRING experiment_type_id = store.put_context_type(experiment_type) # Group the model and the trainer run to an experiment. my_experiment = metadata_store_pb2.Context() my_experiment.type_id = experiment_type_id # Give the experiment a name my_experiment.name = "exp1" my_experiment.properties["note"].string_value = "My first experiment." experiment_id = store.put_contexts([my_experiment]) attribution = metadata_store_pb2.Attribution() attribution.artifact_id = model_artifact_id attribution.context_id = experiment_id association = metadata_store_pb2.Association() association.execution_id = run_id association.context_id = experiment_id store.put_attributions_and_associations([attribution], [association])
Use MLMD with a remote gRPC server
You can use MLMD with remote gRPC servers as shown below:
- Start a server
bazel run -c opt --define grpc_no_ares=true //ml_metadata/metadata_store:metadata_store_server
- Create the client stub and use it in Python
from grpc import insecure_channel from ml_metadata.proto import metadata_store_pb2 from ml_metadata.proto import metadata_store_service_pb2 from ml_metadata.proto import metadata_store_service_pb2_grpc channel = insecure_channel('localhost:8080') stub = metadata_store_service_pb2_grpc.MetadataStoreServiceStub(channel)
- Use MLMD with RPC calls
# Create ArtifactTypes, e.g., Data and Model data_type = metadata_store_pb2.ArtifactType() data_type.name = "DataSet" data_type.properties["day"] = metadata_store_pb2.INT data_type.properties["split"] = metadata_store_pb2.STRING request = metadata_store_service_pb2.PutArtifactTypeRequest() request.all_fields_match = True request.artifact_type.CopyFrom(data_type) stub.PutArtifactType(request) model_type = metadata_store_pb2.ArtifactType() model_type.name = "SavedModel" model_type.properties["version"] = metadata_store_pb2.INT model_type.properties["name"] = metadata_store_pb2.STRING request.artifact_type.CopyFrom(model_type) stub.PutArtifactType(request)
The MLMD library has a high-level API that you can readily use with your ML pipelines. See the MLMD API documentation for more details.
Also check out the MLMD tutorial to learn how to use MLMD to trace the lineage of your pipeline components.