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Build a Model Factory

A model factory is a system or set of procedures that automatically generate predictive models with little to no human intervention. Model factories can have multiple layers of complexity, called modules. One module may train models while others can deploy or retrain models. In this example of a model factory, you set up projects and start them in a parallel loop. This allows you to start all projects simultaneously, without unexpected errors.

Consider a scenario where you have 20,000 SKUs and you need to do sales forecasting for each one of them. Or, you may have multiple types of customers and you are trying to predict which types will churn.

  • Can one model handle the high dimensionality that comes with these problems?
  • Is a single model family able to address the scope of these problems?
  • Is one preprocessing method sufficient?

In this example, use DataRobot to build a single project with the readmitted dataset to predict the probability that a hospital patient may be readmitted after discharge. Then, you will build multiple projects with the admission id feature as the target and find the best model for unique value for admission id. Lastly, you will prepare the selected models for deployment.

Download this notebook from the code examples home page.

Import Libraries

import datarobot as dr #Requires version >2.19
import pandas as pd
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import seaborn as sns
from dask import delayed, compute #For parallelization
from time import sleep
# Import the dataset
df = pd.read_csv('data/10k_diabetes.csv')
# Display the data
race gender age weight admission_type_id discharge_disposition_id admission_source_id time_in_hospital payer_code medical_specialty ... glipizide_metformin glimepiride_pioglitazone metformin_rosiglitazone metformin_pioglitazone change diabetesMed readmitted diag_1_desc diag_2_desc diag_3_desc
0 Caucasian Female [50-60) ? Elective Discharged to home Physician Referral 1 CP Surgery-Neuro ... No No No No No No False Spinal stenosis in cervical region Spinal stenosis in cervical region Effusion of joint, site unspecified
1 Caucasian Female [20-30) [50-75) Urgent Discharged to home Physician Referral 2 UN ? ... No No No No No No False First-degree perineal laceration, unspecified ... Diabetes mellitus of mother, complicating preg... Sideroblastic anemia
2 Caucasian Male [80-90) ? Not Available Discharged/transferred to home with home healt... NaN 7 MC Family/GeneralPractice ... No No No No No Yes True Pneumococcal pneumonia [Streptococcus pneumoni... Congestive heart failure, unspecified Hyperosmolality and/or hypernatremia
3 AfricanAmerican Female [50-60) ? Emergency Discharged to home Transfer from another health care facility 4 UN ? ... No No No No No Yes False Cellulitis and abscess of face Streptococcus infection in conditions classifi... Diabetes mellitus without mention of complicat...
4 AfricanAmerican Female [50-60) ? Emergency Discharged to home Emergency Room 5 ? Psychiatry ... No No No No Ch Yes False Bipolar I disorder, single manic episode, unsp... Diabetes mellitus without mention of complicat... Depressive type psychosis

5 rows × 51 columns

Connect to DataRobot

DataRobot recommends providing a configuration file containing your credentials (endpoint and API Key) to connect to DataRobot.


Create a project

Create a Datarobot project and initiate Autopilot using data from all patients in the dataset.

original_proj = dr.Project.start(df,                                       # Pandas dataframe with data
                                project_name = 'Readmissions',             # Name of the project
                                target = 'readmitted',                     # Target of the project
                                metric = 'LogLoss',                        # Optimization metric (Default is LogLoss)
                                worker_count = -1)                         # Amount of workers to use (-1 means every worker available)

original_proj.wait_for_autopilot(verbosity=1)                              # Wait for Autopilot to finish. You can set verbosity to 0 if you do not wish to see progress updates

Get the best-performing model from the project

# Choose the most accurate model
best_model = original_proj.get_models()[0]

print(best_model) # Print the most accurate model's name
best_model.metrics['LogLoss']['crossValidation'] # Print the crossValidation score

Model insight functions

Use the functions below to plot the ROC curve and Feature Impact for a model.

def plot_roc_curve(datarobot_model):
    """This function plots a roc curve.
        datarobot_model: <Datarobot Model object>
    roc = datarobot_model.get_roc_curve('crossValidation')
    roc_df = pd.DataFrame(roc.roc_points)
    auc_score = datarobot_model.metrics['AUC']['crossValidation']
    plt.plot(roc_df['false_positive_rate'], roc_df['true_positive_rate'], 'b', label = 'AUC = %0.2f' %auc_score)
    plt.legend(loc = 'lower right')
    plt.plot([0, 1], [0, 1],'r--')
    plt.xlim([0, 1])
    plt.ylim([0, 1])
    plt.ylabel('True Positive Rate')
    plt.xlabel('False Positive Rate')

def plot_feature_impact(datarobot_model, title=None):
    """This function plots feature impact
        datarobot_model: <Datarobot Model object>
        title : <string> --> title of graph
    #Get feature impact
    feature_impacts = datarobot_model.get_or_request_feature_impact()

    #Sort feature impact based on normalised impact
    feature_impacts.sort(key=lambda x: x['impactNormalized'], reverse=True)

    fi_df = pd.DataFrame(feature_impacts) #Save feature impact in pandas dataframe
    fig, ax = plt.subplots(figsize=(14,5))
    b = sns.barplot(x="featureName", y="impactNormalized", data=fi_df[0:5], color="b")
    b.axes.set_title('Feature Impact' if not title else title,fontsize=20)

def wait_for_autopilot(proj, wait=120):
    total_wait = 0
    while proj.get_status()['autopilot_done'] == False:
        total_wait += wait
        total_jobs = len(proj.get_all_jobs())
        print('Autopilot still running! {} jobs running and in queue. Total wait time {}s'.format(total_jobs, total_wait))

Visualize the ROC Curve


Plot Feature Impact


Build a better model

Use the admission_type feature as a splitting point to create multiple projects.

fig, ax = plt.subplots(figsize=(12,5))
c = sns.countplot(x="admission_type_id",data=df)

Create a mini model factory

Often when DataRobot needs to set up Automated Feature Discovery (AFD), it may take a while to perform Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA). You can save time when running multiple projects by initiating all of them in parallel. Use Python's dask module to do so.

def run_dr_factory(segment_num):
        temp_project = dr.Project.start(df.loc[df['admission_type_id'] == segment_num],
                                    project_name = 'Readmission_%s'%segment_num,
                                    target = 'readmitted',
                                    metric = 'LogLoss',
                                    worker_count = 10)
        return temp_project
    except: #Catching the case when dataset has fewer than 20 rows.
        return f"There was an error in segment {segment_num}."
delayed_dr_projects = []

#Create one project for each customer type
for value in df['admission_type_id'].unique():
    temp = delayed(run_dr_factory)(value)

projects = compute(delayed_dr_projects)[0]
#Filter to the projects that did not throw errors
projects_filtered = [project for project in projects if not isinstance(project, str)]

Get the best-performing model for each admission type

Even though accuracy changes may be insignificant for this dataset, in applicable cases a model factory can produce measurable value. This concept becomes increasingly important with a higher cardinality in your data. For example, consider if your business owns a variety of products, and you build a model factory to produce a model for each product. DataRobot saves you large amounts of time by having handling the evaluation of accuracy for separate set of models built for each product.

best_models = {} #To save models
for key, project in enumerate(projects_filtered):
    best_models[key] = projects_filtered[key].get_models()[0]
    print('Best model for admission type id: %s' % project)

Generate Feature Impact

Observe the differences in Feature Impact outlined below, which could lead to actionable insights.

for key, project in enumerate(projects_filtered):
    plot_feature_impact(best_models[key], title ='Feature Impact for admission type id: %s' % project)

Deploy the most accurate models

After identifying the best-performing models, you can deploy them and use DataRobot's REST API to make HTTP requests with the deployment ID and return predictions. Once deployed, access monitoring capabilities such as:

prediction_server = dr.PredictionServer.list()[0]

for key in best_models:
    temp_deployment = dr.Deployment.create_from_learning_model(
                                    best_models[key].id, label='Readmissions_admission_type: %s' %key,
                                    description='Test deployment',

Updated March 28, 2022
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