ML development brings many new complexities beyond the traditional software development lifecycle. Unlike in traditional software development, ML developers want to try multiple algorithms, tools and parameters to get the best results, and they need to track this information to reproduce work. In addition, developers need to use many distinct systems to productionize models. To address these problems, many companies are building custom “ML platforms” that automate this lifecycle, but even these platforms are limited to a few supported algorithms and to each company’s internal infrastructure. In this talk, I present MLflow, a new open source project from Databricks that aims to design an open ML platform where organizations can use any ML library and development tool of their choice to reliably build and share ML applications. MLflow introduces simple abstractions to package reproducible projects, track results, and encapsulate models that can be used with many existing tools, accelerating the ML lifecycle for organizations of any size.
Matei Zaharia is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University and Chief Technologist at Databricks. He started the Apache Spark project during his PhD at UC Berkeley in 2009, and has worked broadly in datacenter systems, co-starting the Apache Mesos project and contributing as a committer on Apache Hadoop. Today, Matei tech-leads the MLflow development effort at Databricks in addition to other aspects of the platform. Matei’s research work was recognized through the 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for the best PhD dissertation in computer science, an NSF CAREER Award, and the US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).