Monitor Azure ML experiment runs and metrics

Enhance the model creation process by tracking your experiments and monitoring run metrics. In this article, learn how to add logging code to your training script, submit an experiment run, monitor that run, and inspect the results in Azure Machine Learning.

Note

Azure Machine Learning may also log information from other sources during training, such as automated machine learning runs, or the Docker container that runs the training job. These logs are not documented. If you encounter problems and contact Microsoft support, they may be able to use these logs during troubleshooting.

Available metrics to track

The following metrics can be added to a run while training an experiment. To view a more detailed list of what can be tracked on a run, see the Run class reference documentation.

Type Python function Notes
Scalar values Function:
run.log(name, value, description='')

Example:
run.log("accuracy", 0.95)
Log a numerical or string value to the run with the given name. Logging a metric to a run causes that metric to be stored in the run record in the experiment. You can log the same metric multiple times within a run, the result being considered a vector of that metric.
Lists Function:
run.log_list(name, value, description='')

Example:
run.log_list("accuracies", [0.6, 0.7, 0.87])
Log a list of values to the run with the given name.
Row Function:
run.log_row(name, description=None, **kwargs)
Example:
run.log_row("Y over X", x=1, y=0.4)
Using log_row creates a metric with multiple columns as described in kwargs. Each named parameter generates a column with the value specified. log_row can be called once to log an arbitrary tuple, or multiple times in a loop to generate a complete table.
Table Function:
run.log_table(name, value, description='')

Example:
run.log_table("Y over X", {"x":[1, 2, 3], "y":[0.6, 0.7, 0.89]})
Log a dictionary object to the run with the given name.
Images Function:
run.log_image(name, path=None, plot=None)

Example:
run.log_image("ROC", plt)
Log an image to the run record. Use log_image to log an image file or a matplotlib plot to the run. These images will be visible and comparable in the run record.
Tag a run Function:
run.tag(key, value=None)

Example:
run.tag("selected", "yes")
Tag the run with a string key and optional string value.
Upload file or directory Function:
run.upload_file(name, path_or_stream)

Example:
run.upload_file("best_model.pkl", "./model.pkl")
Upload a file to the run record. Runs automatically capture file in the specified output directory, which defaults to "./outputs" for most run types. Use upload_file only when additional files need to be uploaded or an output directory is not specified. We suggest adding outputs to the name so that it gets uploaded to the outputs directory. You can list all of the files that are associated with this run record by called run.get_file_names()

Note

Metrics for scalars, lists, rows, and tables can have type: float, integer, or string.

Choose a logging option

If you want to track or monitor your experiment, you must add code to start logging when you submit the run. The following are ways to trigger the run submission:

  • Run.start_logging - Add logging functions to your training script and start an interactive logging session in the specified experiment. start_logging creates an interactive run for use in scenarios such as notebooks. Any metrics that are logged during the session are added to the run record in the experiment.
  • ScriptRunConfig - Add logging functions to your training script and load the entire script folder with the run. ScriptRunConfig is a class for setting up configurations for script runs. With this option, you can add monitoring code to be notified of completion or to get a visual widget to monitor.

Set up the workspace

Before adding logging and submitting an experiment, you must set up the workspace.

  1. Load the workspace. To learn more about setting the workspace configuration, see workspace configuration file.

    from azureml.core import Experiment, Run, Workspace
    import azureml.core
    
    ws = Workspace.from_config()
    

Option 1: Use start_logging

start_logging creates an interactive run for use in scenarios such as notebooks. Any metrics that are logged during the session are added to the run record in the experiment.

The following example trains a simple sklearn Ridge model locally in a local Jupyter notebook. To learn more about submitting experiments to different environments, see Set up compute targets for model training with Azure Machine Learning.

  1. Create a training script in a local Jupyter notebook.

    # load diabetes dataset, a well-known small dataset that comes with scikit-learn
    from sklearn.datasets import load_diabetes
    from sklearn.linear_model import Ridge
    from sklearn.metrics import mean_squared_error
    from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
    from sklearn.externals import joblib
    
    X, y = load_diabetes(return_X_y = True)
    columns = ['age', 'gender', 'bmi', 'bp', 's1', 's2', 's3', 's4', 's5', 's6']
    X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size = 0.2, random_state = 0)
    data = {
       "train":{"X": X_train, "y": y_train},        
       "test":{"X": X_test, "y": y_test}
    }
    reg = Ridge(alpha = 0.03)
    reg.fit(data['train']['X'], data['train']['y'])
    preds = reg.predict(data['test']['X'])
    print('Mean Squared Error is', mean_squared_error(preds, data['test']['y']))
    joblib.dump(value = reg, filename = 'model.pkl');
    
  2. Add experiment tracking using the Azure Machine Learning SDK, and upload a persisted model into the experiment run record. The following code adds tags, logs, and uploads a model file to the experiment run.

     # Get an experiment object from Azure Machine Learning
     experiment = Experiment(workspace=ws, name="train-within-notebook")
    
     # Create a run object in the experiment
     run =  experiment.start_logging()
     # Log the algorithm parameter alpha to the run
     run.log('alpha', 0.03)
    
     # Create, fit, and test the scikit-learn Ridge regression model
     regression_model = Ridge(alpha=0.03)
     regression_model.fit(data['train']['X'], data['train']['y'])
     preds = regression_model.predict(data['test']['X'])
    
     # Output the Mean Squared Error to the notebook and to the run
     print('Mean Squared Error is', mean_squared_error(data['test']['y'], preds))
     run.log('mse', mean_squared_error(data['test']['y'], preds))
    
     # Save the model to the outputs directory for capture
     model_file_name = 'outputs/model.pkl'
    
     joblib.dump(value = regression_model, filename = model_file_name)
    
     # upload the model file explicitly into artifacts 
     run.upload_file(name = model_file_name, path_or_stream = model_file_name)
    
     # Complete the run
     run.complete()
    

    The script ends with run.complete(), which marks the run as completed. This function is typically used in interactive notebook scenarios.

Option 2: Use ScriptRunConfig

ScriptRunConfig is a class for setting up configurations for script runs. With this option, you can add monitoring code to be notified of completion or to get a visual widget to monitor.

This example expands on the basic sklearn Ridge model from above. It does a simple parameter sweep to sweep over alpha values of the model to capture metrics and trained models in runs under the experiment. The example runs locally against a user-managed environment.

  1. Create a training script train.py.

    # train.py
    
    import os
    from sklearn.datasets import load_diabetes
    from sklearn.linear_model import Ridge
    from sklearn.metrics import mean_squared_error
    from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
    from azureml.core.run import Run
    from sklearn.externals import joblib
    
    import numpy as np
    
    #os.makedirs('./outputs', exist_ok = True)
    
    X, y = load_diabetes(return_X_y = True)
    
    run = Run.get_context()
    
    X_train, X_test, y_train, y_test = train_test_split(X, y, test_size = 0.2, random_state = 0)
    data = {"train": {"X": X_train, "y": y_train},
           "test": {"X": X_test, "y": y_test}}
    
    # list of numbers from 0.0 to 1.0 with a 0.05 interval
    alphas = mylib.get_alphas()
    
    for alpha in alphas:
       # Use Ridge algorithm to create a regression model
       reg = Ridge(alpha = alpha)
       reg.fit(data["train"]["X"], data["train"]["y"])
    
       preds = reg.predict(data["test"]["X"])
       mse = mean_squared_error(preds, data["test"]["y"])
       # log the alpha and mse values
       run.log('alpha', alpha)
       run.log('mse', mse)
    
       model_file_name = 'ridge_{0:.2f}.pkl'.format(alpha)
       # save model in the outputs folder so it automatically get uploaded
       with open(model_file_name, "wb") as file:
           joblib.dump(value = reg, filename = model_file_name)
    
       # upload the model file explicitly into artifacts 
       run.upload_file(name = model_file_name, path_or_stream = model_file_name)
    
       # register the model
       #run.register_model(file_name = model_file_name)
    
       print('alpha is {0:.2f}, and mse is {1:0.2f}'.format(alpha, mse))
    
    
  2. The train.py script references mylib.py which allows you to get the list of alpha values to use in the ridge model.

    # mylib.py
    
    import numpy as np
    
    def get_alphas():
       # list of numbers from 0.0 to 1.0 with a 0.05 interval
       return np.arange(0.0, 1.0, 0.05)
    
  3. Configure a user-managed local environment.

    from azureml.core import Environment
    
    # Editing a run configuration property on-fly.
    user_managed_env = Environment("user-managed-env")
    
    user_managed_env.python.user_managed_dependencies = True
    
    # You can choose a specific Python environment by pointing to a Python path 
    #user_managed_env.python.interpreter_path = '/home/johndoe/miniconda3/envs/myenv/bin/python'
    
  4. Submit the train.py script to run in the user-managed environment. This whole script folder is submitted for training, including the mylib.py file.

    from azureml.core import ScriptRunConfig
    
    exp = Experiment(workspace=ws, name="train-on-local")
    src = ScriptRunConfig(source_directory='./', script='train.py')
    src.run_config.environment = user_managed_env
    run = exp.submit(src)
    

Manage a run

The Start, monitor, and cancel training runs article highlights specific Azure Machine Learning workflows for how to manage your experiments.

View run details

Monitor run with Jupyter notebook widget

When you use the ScriptRunConfig method to submit runs, you can watch the progress of the run with a Jupyter widget. Like the run submission, the widget is asynchronous and provides live updates every 10-15 seconds until the job completes.

  1. View the Jupyter widget while waiting for the run to complete.

    from azureml.widgets import RunDetails
    RunDetails(run).show()
    

    Screenshot of Jupyter notebook widget

You can also get a link to the same display in your workspace.

print(run.get_portal_url())
  1. [For automated machine learning runs] To access the charts from a previous run. Replace <<experiment_name>> with the appropriate experiment name:

    from azureml.widgets import RunDetails
    from azureml.core.run import Run
    
    experiment = Experiment (workspace, <<experiment_name>>)
    run_id = 'autoML_my_runID' #replace with run_ID
    run = Run(experiment, run_id)
    RunDetails(run).show()
    

    Jupyter notebook widget for Automated Machine Learning

To view further details of a pipeline click on the Pipeline you would like to explore in the table, and the charts will render in a pop-up from the Azure portal.

Get log results upon completion

Model training and monitoring occur in the background so that you can run other tasks while you wait. You can also wait until the model has completed training before running more code. When you use ScriptRunConfig, you can use run.wait_for_completion(show_output = True) to show when the model training is complete. The show_output flag gives you verbose output.

Query run metrics

You can view the metrics of a trained model using run.get_metrics(). You can now get all of the metrics that were logged in the example above to determine the best model.

View the experiment in the Azure portal or your workspace landing page (preview)

When an experiment has finished running, you can browse to the recorded experiment run record. You can access the history in two ways:

  • Get the URL to the run directly print(run.get_portal_url())
  • View the run details by submitting the name of the run (in this case, run). This way points you to the experiment name, ID, type, status, details page, a link to the Azure portal, and a link to documentation.

The link for the run brings you directly to the run details page in the Azure portal. Here you can see any properties, tracked metrics, images, and charts that are logged in the experiment. In this case, we logged MSE and the alpha values.

Run details in the Azure portal

You can also view any outputs or logs for the run, or download the snapshot of the experiment you submitted so you can share the experiment folder with others.

Viewing charts in run details

There are various ways to use the logging APIs to record different types of metrics during a run and view them as charts in the Azure portal.

Logged Value Example code View in portal
Log an array of numeric values run.log_list(name='Fibonacci', value=[0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89]) single-variable line chart
Log a single numeric value with the same metric name repeatedly used (like from within a for loop) for i in tqdm(range(-10, 10)): run.log(name='Sigmoid', value=1 / (1 + np.exp(-i))) angle = i / 2.0 Single-variable line chart
Log a row with 2 numerical columns repeatedly run.log_row(name='Cosine Wave', angle=angle, cos=np.cos(angle)) sines['angle'].append(angle) sines['sine'].append(np.sin(angle)) Two-variable line chart
Log table with 2 numerical columns run.log_table(name='Sine Wave', value=sines) Two-variable line chart

Example notebooks

The following notebooks demonstrate concepts in this article:

Learn how to run notebooks by following the article, Use Jupyter notebooks to explore this service.

Next steps

Try these next steps to learn how to use the Azure Machine Learning SDK for Python: