Meetup #79

Engineering Best Practices for Machine Learning

The increasing reliance on applications with ML components calls for mature engineering techniques that ensure these are built in a robust and future-proof manner. Moreover, the negative impact that improper use of ML can have on users and society is now widely recognized and policymakers are working on guidelines aiming to promote trustworthy development of ML. To address these issues, we mined both academic and non-academic literature and compiled a catalog of engineering best practices for the development of ML applications. The catalog was validated with over 500 teams of practitioners, which allowed us to extract valuable information about the practice difficulty or the effects of adopting the practices. In this talk, I will give an overview of our findings, which indicate, for example, that teams tend to neglect traditional software engineering practices, or that effects such as traceability or reproducibility can be accurately predicted from assessing the practice adoption. Moreover, I will present a quantitative method to assess a team’s engineering ability to develop software with ML components and suggest improvements for your team’s processes.