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Set of Machine Learning versioning helpers

Project description

Machine Learning Versioning Tools - MLV-tools

Public repository for versioning machine learning data


Step metadata: in this document it refers to the first code cell when it is used to declare metadata such as parameters, dvc inputs/outputs, etc.

Work directory: the git top level directory of the project to version. (If the project does not use git, which is not recommended, use --working-dir argument on each command call)


ipynb_to_python: this command convert a given Jupyter Notebook to a parameterized and executable Python3 script (see specific syntax in section below)

ipynb_to_python -n [notebook_path] -o [python_script_path]

gen_dvc: this command create a dvc command which call the script generated by ipynb_to_python.

gen_dvc -i [python_script] --out-py-cmd [python_command] \
              --out-bash-cmd [dvc_command]


A configuration file can be provided, but it is not mandatory. It's default location is in the working directory, ie [working_dir]/.mlvtools. But it can be in a custom file provided as a command argument.

The configuration file format is JSON

"path": {
	"python_script_root_dir": "[path_to_the_script_directory]",
	"dvc_cmd_root_dir": "[path_to_the_dvc_cmd_directory]"
"ignore_keys: ["keywords", "to", "ignore"],
'dvc_var_python_cmd_path': 'MLV_PY_CMD_PATH_CUSTOM',
'dvc_var_python_cmd_name': 'MLV_PY_CMD_NAME_CUSTOM',

All given path must be relative to the working directory

  • path_to_the_script_directory: is the directory where Python 3 script will be generated using ipynb_to_script command. The Python 3 script name is based on the notebook name.

      ipynb_to_script -n ./data/My\ Notebook.ipynb 
      Generated script: `[path_to_the_script_directory]/`
  • path_to_the_dvc_cmd_directory: is the directory where DVC commands will be generated using gen_dvc command. Generated command names are based on Python 3 script name.

      gen_dvc -i ./scripts/
      Generated commands: `[path_to_the_python_cmd_directory]/my_notebook_dvc`
  • ignore_keys: list of keywords use to discard a cell. Default value is ['# No effect ]. (See Discard cell section)

  • dvc_var_python_cmd_path, dvc_var_python_cmd_name, dvc_var_meta_filename: they allow to customize variable names which can be used in dvc-cmd Docstring parameter. They respectively correspond to the variables holding the python command file path, the file name and the variable holding the DVC default meta file name. Default values are 'MLV_PY_CMD_PATH', 'MLV_PY_CMD_NAME' and 'MLV_DVC_META_FILENAME'. (See DVC Command/Complex cases section for usage)

Jupyter Notebook syntax

The Step metadata cell is used to declare script parameters and DVC outputs and dependencies. This can be done using basic Docstring syntax. This Docstring must be the first statement is this cell, only comments can be writen above.

Good practices

Avoid using relative paths in your Jupyter Notebook because they are relative to the notebook location which is not the same when it will be converted to a script.


Parameter can be declared in the Jupyter Notebook using basic Docstring syntax. This parameter description is used to generate configurable and executable python scripts.

Parameters declaration in Jupyter Notebook:

Jupyter Notebook: process_files.ipynb

#:param [type]? [param_name]: [description]?
:param str input_file: the input file
:param output_file: the output_file
:param rate: the learning rate
:param int retry:

Generated Python3 script:

def process_file(input_file: str, output_file, rate, retry:int):

Script command line parameters: -h

usage: my_cmd [-h] --input-file INPUT_FILE --output-file OUTPUT_FILE --rate
             RATE --retry RETRY

Command for script [script_name]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --input-file INPUT_FILE
                        the input file
  --output-file OUTPUT_FILE
                        the output_file
  --rate RATE           the rate
  --retry RETRY

All declared arguments are required.

DVC command

A DVC command is a wrapper over dvc run command called on a Python 3 script generated with ipynb_to_python command. It is a step of a pipeline.

It is based on data declared in notebook metadata, 2 modes are available: - describe only input/output for simple cases (recommended) - describe full command for complex cases

Simple cases


:param str input_csv_file: Path to input file
:param str output_csv_file: Path to output file

[:dvc-extra: {python_other_param}]?

:dvc-in: ./data/filter.csv
:dvc-in input_csv_file: ./data/info.csv    
:dvc-out: ./data/train_set.csv    
:dvc-out output_csv_file: ./data/test_set.csv
:dvc-extra: --mode train --rate 12

Provided {file_path} path can be absolute or relative to the git top dir.

The {related_param} is a parameter of the corresponding Python 3 script, it is filled in for the python script call

The dvc-extra allows to declare parameters which are not dvc outputs or dependencies. Those parameters are provided to the call of the Python 3 command.

pushd $(git rev-parse --show-toplevel)


dvc run \
-d ./data/filter.csv\
-o ./data/train_set.csv\
gen_src/ --mode train --rate 12 
        --input-csv-file $INPUT_CSV_FILE 
        --output-csv-file $OUTPUT_CSV_FILE

Complex cases


:dvc-cmd: {dvc_command}

:dvc-cmd: dvc run -o ./out_train.csv -o ./out_test.csv 
    "$MLV_PY_CMD_PATH -m train --out ./out_train.csv && 
     $MLV_PY_CMD_PATH -m test --out ./out_test.csv"

This syntax allows to provide the full dvc command to generate. All paths can be absolute or relative to the git top dir. The variables $MLV_PY_CMD_PATH and $MLV_PY_CMD_NAME are available. They respectively contains the path and the name of the corresponding python command. The variable $MLV_DVC_META_FILENAME contains the default name of the DVC meta file.

pushd $(git rev-parse --show-toplevel)
dvc run -f $MLV_DVC_META_FILENAME -o ./out_train.csv \
    -o ./out_test.csv \
    "$MLV_PY_CMD_PATH -m train --out ./out_train.csv && \
    $MLV_PY_CMD_PATH -m test --out ./out_test.csv"    

Discard cell

Some cells in Jupyter Notebook are executed only to watch intermediate results. In a Python 3 script those are statements with no effect. The comment # No effect allows to discard a whole cell content to avoid waste of time running those statements. It is possible to customize the list of discard keywords, see Configuration section.


We happily welcome contributions to MLV-tools. Please see our contribution guide for details.

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