Home > Getting Started > Conform and Deploy a Model > Conform and Deploy a Model

How-to: Conform and Deploy a Model

This is a step by step guide for conforming and deploying a model in ModelOp Center. It contains instructions for data scientists to prepare, deploy and test their model. This guide was last updated for v1.10 of ModelOp Center.

As we go, we will be referring to an example XGBoost model available in the examples branch of this repo.

If you need support or have questions, please email us: support@opendatagroup.com


  1. Pre-requisites
  2. Defining Deployment Package Overview
    1. Model Dependencies
    2. Model Schema
    3. Model Execution Script
    4. Attachment
    5. Streams
  3. Deploy as REST
  4. Test Model
  5. Next Steps


Before we walk through how to conform and deploy a model, we will need the following pre-requisites:

  1. ModelOp Center Environment Installed
  2. ModelOp Center CLI Installed
  3. Example repo downloaded

This guide walks through a multi-class classification model that returns a probability vector of the species of iris based on four features: sepal length/width, petal length/width using the XGBoost framework. It is available in the repo above.

To download the repo and setup the environment:

git clone https://github.com/opendatagroup/Getting-Started.git
cd Getting-Started
git checkout examples

Defining Model Deployment Package

ModelOp Center provides several key assets for deploying and managing a model throughout the Model Lifecycle. As a Data Scientist, we define these abstractions for a robust deployment of our model that can evolve during the productionalization process without intensive input from the Data Scientist downstream.

Asset Description
1. Model Dependencies Definition of the Runtime environment of the model with necessary dependencies for execution.
2. Schemas The definition of a Model’s type signature for inputs and outputs defined in Avro.
3. Model Execution Script Model execution or prediction script that read input data from source, predicts, and writes output.
4. Attachments Binary objects, serialized model coefficients, or other artifacts from training that are required for model execution. ModelOp Center pulls these attachments into a working directory upon deployment.
5. Streams Definition of the data input/output that a model reads/writes from/to while executing.

1. Model Dependencies

ModelOp Center Engine manages the deployment and running of the model within a Docker container. As part of the deployment process, we will need to build the dependencies for our model on top of the base ModelOp Center Engine container. This is a key piece for the Data Scientist to hand off to the Model Operations team to ensure the model can run downstream.

For our XGBoost example, we will need to build in the dependencies into the ModelOp Center Engine. The examples branch’s docker-compose file points to the pre-built image on Dockerhub, but here are the steps to manually add them for your model. The image is defined using the Dockerfile and requirements.txt in Getting-Started/requirements/xgboost_iris. To build the image in the local repo, run docker build -t localrepo/engine:xgboost . within the directory. We can then modify the docker-compose.yaml to have Engine 1 utilize the new Engine and redeploy with make.

Here are the key components that define the image:


FROM fastscore/engine:dev
ADD ./requirements.txt .

RUN pip3 install --isolated --user -r requirements.txt
USER root
RUN apt-get install cmake -y
RUN git clone --recursive https://github.com/dmlc/xgboost && \
	cd /fastscore/xgboost && \
	mkdir build && \
	cd /fastscore/xgboost/build && \
	cmake .. && \
	make -j4 && \
	cd /fastscore/xgboost/python-package &&\
	python3 setup.py install
USER 1000




    image: fastscore/engine:xgboost
        - "8003:8003"
      - ./data:/data
        CONNECT_PREFIX: https://connect:8001
      - fsnet

The image is also avaiable on Dockerhub as fastscore/engine:xgboost.

2. Defining Model Schema

Next, we will define the Schemas for our input and output data. Schemata specify a “language-neutral type signature” for a model. We use these to define the handoff between the model and the data pipeline. Input/output data will be validated against the schema and rejected if it does not match, giving us visibility of issues between the model and the data pipeline. ModelOp Center uses Apache Avro and they are defined in JSON files that are added to Model Manage.

With the ModelOp Center CLI, we can infer the schema from a sample data record using the following command.

fastscore schema infer <data-file>

For our example, we can run the following from the Getting-Started of the examples branch for the input schema.

fastscore schema infer library/scripts/xgboost_iris_inputs.jsons

This will return the following, which we should save as library/schemas/xgboost_iris_input.avsc:

    "fields": [
            "name": "sepal_length",
            "type": "double"
            "name": "sepal_width",
            "type": "double"
            "name": "petal_length",
            "type": "double"
            "name": "petal_width",
            "type": "double"
    "name": "recc617457b",
    "type": "record"

For the output schema, our model will predict the probability of the Iris being species (A,B, or C) as three floats which looks like this:

	"type": "record",
	"name": "xgboost_output",
	"fields": [
		{"name":"A", "type":"float"},
		{"name":"B", "type":"float"},
		{"name":"C", "type":"float"}

We will save the that one as library/schemas/xgboost_iris_output.avsc.

And now we will add our schemas to Model Manage using the following commands:

fastscore schema add xgboost_iris_input library/schemas/xgboost_iris_input.avsc fastscore schema add xgboost_iris_output library/schemas/xgboost_iris_output.avsc

To test these schemas, we can verify them against the sample data:

fastscore schema verify <schema-name> <sample-data-file> fastscore schema verify xgboost_iris_input library/scripts/xgboost_iris_inputs.jsons

3. Model Execution Script

Next, we’re going to define the Model Execution Script, which will determine how the model predicts our output from the input data. This will be the key piece that pulls together and calls the other portions of our deployment package.

Let’s look at the portions of our execution script:

Model Execution Script

We’ll need to define several pieces of the model execution script:

  1. Model Annotation - Control flags to define model scoring behavior including which schemas are tied to which slots.
  2. Import Dependencies - Defined in Dockerfile and imported to make them available in the Engine
  3. Trained Model Artifact from Attachment - Loaded and made available for reference at the beginning of the script.
  4. Prediction Code - Activated when input data is received and writes to output.

Tip: it’s best practice to build a ‘shell’ or echo version of your model to validate the input and output data flow prior to adding in the prediction portions. This will allow us to validate and test the schemata and data flow of the model prior to introducing additional complexity of prediction.

Now, we define in the code the actual prediction. Data coming in will be received from the input Stream to Slot(0). A prediction can be generated by a trained model which has been serialized as a pickle file in this example (xgboost_explicit.pkl). The predictions are then written to the output slot, Slot(1), and the Stream attached there. Note: this style of conformance assumes the data is received as batched records (e.g. dataframes in Pandas).

#fastscore.action: unused
#fastscore.schema.0: xgboost_input
#fastscore.schema.1: xgboost_output
#fastscore.module-attached: xgboost

from fastscore.io import Slot
import xgboost
import pickle
import pandas as pd
import time

slot0 = Slot(0)
slot1 = Slot(1)
for df in slot0:
	features = ['sepal_length', 'sepal_width', 'petal_length', 'petal_width']
	df = df[features]
	model = pickle.load(open('xgboost_explicit.pkl', 'rb'))
	preds = model.predict_proba(data = df)
	preds = pd.DataFrame(preds, columns = ['A', 'B', 'C'])
	for j in range(len(preds)):

Here are the options for model annotations in ModelOp Center to control the behavior of the model in ModelOp Center:

Annotation Format Description
Schema Assignment # fastscore.schema.<slot #>: <schema-name> Ties schema to a slot to verify data for that slot
Recordsets # fastscore.recordsets.:<slot #>: <true/false> Enables recordsets for that slot
Action Unused # fastscore.action: unused Defines conformance approach
Module Attached # fastscore.module-attached:<module-name> Disables the import policy checking for imported module
Disable Schema Checking # fastscore.schema.:<slot #>: in-use Used during testing to disable schema checking

For our example, the first annotation designates we will not be using the ‘call-back’-style conformance. Note: this model and guide focus on a new form of conformance that is released in Version 1.10. There is also the ability to use the ‘call-back conformance’ which utilizes begin and action functions instead of the slot object as shown in this example. Both will run within the latest versions of the ModelOp Center Engine.

Once we’ve defined this, we need to add the model execution script to ModelOp Center with the following command: fastscore model add <model-name> <source-file> fastscore model add xgboost_iris-py3 library/models/xgboost_iris.py3

4. Attachments

Attachments consist of external files to be utilized during prediction or scoring. The contents of the attachment get extracted into the current working directory of the model execution script. Attachments will be tracked in Model Manage and Git if we’re using the integration, so they are recommended to be less than 20MB. Larger artifacts can be added to the Engine via the Dockerfile.

In our example, we reference xgboost_explicit.pkl which is our trained model that we will use for predictions. ModelOp Center will unpack the file in the working directory so the model can utilize it. To add it to ModelOp Center, we upload it the model and add it to Model Manage with the following CLI command:

ModelOp Center attachment upload <model-name> <file-to-attach>.
ModelOp Center attachment upload xgboost_iris-py3 library/attachments/xgboost_explicit.tar.gz

5. Streams

Streams in ModelOp Center define the integration to our data pipeline. Streams will read records from the underlying transport, verify with the schema, and feed them to the model. The streams are defined via JSON document that controls behavior and connection. For this example, we will be deploying and testing the model as REST.

In the next step, we will use the CLI to generate two arbitrary REST endpoints for testing the model. While the arbitrary REST endpoints are not realistic for Production, they are an extremely handy approach for quick testing. We can also define the REST stream as a JSON file to be added and tracked in Model Manage: { "Transport": "REST", "Encoding": "json" }

fastscore stream add <stream-name> <file-name>
fastscore stream add rest library/streams/rest.json

Deploy as REST

Now that we have the Model Deployment Package defined and added to ModelOp Center, it’s time to deploy it in the Engine and test as REST. Using rest: for the streams in the run command will generate an endpoint for the input and output slots.

Generic commands for deploying model:

fastscore use <engine-name>
fastscore engine reset
fastscore run <model-name> rest: rest:
fastscore engine inspect

For our example:

fastscore use engine-1
fastscore engine reset
fastscore run xgboost_iris-py3 rest: rest:
fastscore engine inspect

Troubleshooting Tip: At this point, the model is loaded into the Engine, initialized, and awaiting data. The last inspect should return RUNNING to indicate the model is ready for data. If the inspect command returns an error, there was most likely an issue with theModel Dependencies, the Attachment or how they were referenced in the Model Execution Script. Check the logs of the Engine to investigate the error messages.

Test Model

Next we’re going to send data to the model to test the Model Deployment Package entirely for prediction. To send data via the CLI, we will send samples from the xgboost_iris_inputs.jsons file then view ouput using the following commands:

head -10 library/scripts/xgboost_iris_inputs.jsons | fastscore model input
fastscore model output

This model takes a minute to run, so give it a bit to run. Now we can see the output from our model!

{"A": 0.0032884993124753237, "B": 0.004323431756347418, "C": 0.992388129234314}

Troubleshooting Tip: If the output command returns nothing, use ModelOp Center engine inspect to see the state of the model. If it’s in error, check the docker logs for an error message. At this stage, it’s most likely an issue with the Model Schema rejecting the data or an issue with the Model Execution Script.

Next Steps

At this point as a Data Scientist, we can confidently hand off the Model Deployment Package to the Data Engineering or ModelOps team knowing it’s ready for operationalization and productionalization.

To continue learning, check out some additional examples here:

Additionally, consult the detailed Product Reference documentation:

If you need support or have questions, please email us: support@opendatagroup.com