What is MLflow? – Basics and Guide

What is MLflow? – Basics and Guide

Enhance your models and generative AI applications using MLflow, a comprehensive, end-to-end, open-source MLOps platform.

What is MLflow?
What is MLflow?

MLflow is an open-source platform designed specifically to aid machine learning practitioners and teams in managing the complexities of the machine learning lifecycle. 

Table Of Contents


MLflow includes four main components:

  1. Tracking: This component allows you to record machine learning model training sessions (called runs) and run queries using Java, Python, R, and REST APIs.
  2. Models: This component provides a standard unit for packaging and reusing machine learning models.
  3. Model Registry: This component enables centralized management of models and their lifecycle.
  4. Projects: This component packages code used in data science projects, ensuring easy reuse and reproducibility of experiments
Mlflow Components
Mlflow Components

Additionally, MLflow introduces two key concepts:

  • Run: A collection of parameters, metrics, labels, and artifacts related to the training process of a machine-learning model.
  • Experiment: The basic unit of organization in MLflow. All runs belong to an experiment, allowing you to analyze and compare results from different runs and retrieve metadata artifacts for further analysis using downstream tools. Experiments are maintained on an MLflow tracking server hosted on Azure Databricks

Track ML Projects Using MLflow

Tracking machine learning projects with MLflow involves five steps:

1. Initialize a run with mlflow.start_run() to create a unique identifier.

2. Log parameters and metrics, such as hyperparameters and performance metrics, to capture important information.

3. Log artifacts like model checkpoints and visualizations to provide context and documentation.

4. To ensure reproducibility, MLflow automatically tracks dependencies, including libraries and environment variables.

5. Record the run with mlflow.end_run() to store logged information in the MLflow backend.

MLflow simplifies the machine learning lifecycle by providing tools for experiment tracking, model packaging, deployment, and collaboration. It enables data scientists and ML engineers to focus on building and deploying models while maintaining visibility, control, and reproducibility. By leveraging MLflow, organizations can benefit from streamlined experiment tracking, enhanced collaboration, and improved model deployment and management


Managing Dependencies in MLflow Models

MLflow Model is a standardized format that packages a machine learning model with its dependencies and metadata, ensuring reproducibility and portability across platforms. 

MLflow Model:

  • Standard format for packaging machine learning models with dependencies and metadata
  • Ensures reproducibility and portability across platforms

Dependency Management:

  • MLflow automatically detects and records required dependencies as part of model metadata
  • Dependencies are installed automatically when serving the model for prediction

MLflow typically manages dependencies, but customization is possible. Guidance is available for adding or modifying dependencies as needed

Mlflow - GenAI
Mlflow - GenAI

Benefits of Using MLflow?

MLflow offers several benefits to data scientists, ML engineers, and organizations involved in machine learning development.

1. Streamlined Experiment Tracking and Reproducibility: It allows users to easily reproduce previous runs, compare different models or configurations, and understand the impact of various parameters on model performance. This helps improve model development iterations and facilitates collaboration among team members.

2. Enhanced Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: MLflow’s tracking capabilities promote collaboration and knowledge sharing among data scientists and ML practitioners. 

3. Efficient Model Lifecycle Management: With the introduction of the MLflow Model Registry, the management of ML models across their lifecycle is greatly enhanced. The Model Registry provides a centralized repository for registering, versioning, and tracking models. 

4. Reproducible ML Pipelines: The MLflow Pipeline allows users to define and execute complex ML workflows reproducibly with the ability to define multi-step pipelines, including data preprocessing, model training, and deployment.

5. Open Source and Extensible: MLflow is an open-source project, continuously developed, maintained, and improved by a vibrant community of contributors.