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Deployment and Production

For a more in depth overview I highly recommended the Machine Learning Engineering for Production (MLOps) Specialization on Coursera.

POC to Production Gap

Machine learning model code is only a small part of your entire development. There are many other things still needed, which is why even when having a Proof of Concept ("POC") model working, in for example a Jupyter Notebook, it can still be a lot of work to get to successful production. This is sometimes referred to as the "POC to Production Gap".

Hidden Technical Debt

Figure 1: Only a small fraction of real-world ML systems is composed of the ML code, as shown by the small grey box in the middle. The required surrounding infrastructure is vast and complex. Adapted from (D. Sculley et. al. NIPS 2015).

Project Lifecycle

Thinking through the machine learning project lifecycle is an effective way to plan out all steps that you need to work on to get your system up and running, while at the same time minimizing any surprises. An example of such framework, as suggested by Andrew Ng:

    direction LR
    Scoping --> Data
    Data --> Modeling
    Modeling --> Deployment
    Modeling --> Data
    Deployment --> Modeling
    Deployment --> Data
    state Scoping {
        scopingState: Define Project
    state Data {
        dataState1: Define data and establish baseline
        dataState2: Label and organize data
        dataState1 --> dataState2
    state Modeling {
        modelState1: Select and train model
        modelState2: Perform error analysis
        modelState1 --> modelState2
        modelState2 --> modelState1
    state Deployment {
        deployState1: Deploy in production
        deployState2: Monitor & maintain system
        deployState1 --> deployState2





  1. D. Sculley, Gary Holt, Daniel Golovin, Eugene Davydov, Todd Phillips, Dietmar Ebner, Vinay Chaudhary, Michael Young, Jean-François Crespo, Dan Dennison. Technical Debt in Machine Learning Systems, NIPS 2015. URL 

Last update: October 19, 2022
Created: October 19, 2022