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Experiment Trackers

How to log and visualize ML experiments
Experiment trackers let you track your ML experiments by logging extended information about your models, datasets, metrics and other parameters and allowing you to browse them, visualize them and compare them between runs. In the ZenML world, every pipeline run is considered an experiment, and ZenML facilitates the storage of experiment results through Experiment Tracker stack components. This establishes a clear link between pipeline runs and experiments.
Related concepts:
  • the Experiment Tracker is an optional type of Stack Component that needs to be registered as part of your ZenML Stack.
  • ZenML already provides versioning and tracking for the pipeline artifacts by storing artifacts in the Artifact Store.

When to use it

ZenML already records information about the artifacts circulated through your pipelines by means of the mandatory Artifact Store.
However, these ZenML mechanisms are meant to be used programmatically and can be more difficult to work with without a visual interface.
Experiment Trackers on the other hand are tools designed with usability in mind. They include extensive UI's providing users with an interactive and intuitive interface that allows them to browse and visualize the information logged during the ML pipeline runs.
You should add an Experiment Tracker to your ZenML stack and use it when you want to augment ZenML with the visual features provided by experiment tracking tools.

How they experiment trackers slot into the stack

Here is an architecture diagram that shows how experiment trackers fit into the overall story of a remote stack.
Experiment Tracker

Experiment Tracker Flavors

Experiment Trackers are optional stack components provided by integrations:
Experiment Tracker
Flavor
Integration
Notes
MLflow
mlflow
mlflow
Add MLflow experiment tracking and visualization capabilities to your ZenML pipelines
wandb
wandb
Add Weights & Biases experiment tracking and visualization capabilities to your ZenML pipelines
custom
custom
If you would like to see the available flavors of Experiment Tracker, you can use the command:
zenml experiment-tracker flavor list

How to use it

Every Experiment Tracker has different capabilities and uses a different way of logging information from your pipeline steps, but it generally works as follows:
  • first, you have to configure and add an Experiment Tracker to your ZenML stack
  • next, you have to explicitly enable the Experiment Tracker for individual steps in your pipeline by decorating them with the included decorator
  • in your steps, you have to explicitly log information (e.g. models, metrics, data) to the Experiment Tracker same as you would if you were using the tool independently of ZenML
  • finally, you can access the Experiment Tracker UI to browse and visualize the information logged during your pipeline runs
Note: the Expirement Tracker will declare run as failed if the pipeline step fails.
Consult the documentation for the particular Experiment Tracker flavor that you plan on using or are using in your stack for detailed information about how to use it in your ZenML pipelines.