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Accelerated Cloud for Artificial Intelligence (ACAI)

Dachi ChenWeitian DingChen LiangChang XuJunwei ZhangMajd Sakr
Jan 2024
Training an effective Machine learning (ML) model is an iterative process that requires effort in multiple dimensions. Vertically, a single pipeline typically includes an initial ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) of raw datasets, a model training stage, and an evaluation stage where the practitioners obtain statistics of the model performance. Horizontally, many such pipelines may be required to find the best model within a search space of model configurations. Many practitioners resort to maintaining logs manually and writing simple glue code to automate the workflow. However, carrying out this process on the cloud is not a trivial task in terms of resource provisioning, data management, and bookkeeping of job histories to make sure the results are reproducible. We propose an end-to-end cloud-based machine learning platform, Accelerated Cloud for AI (ACAI), to help improve the productivity of ML practitioners. ACAI achieves this goal by enabling cloud-based storage of indexed, labeled, and searchable data, as well as automatic resource provisioning, job scheduling, and experiment tracking. Specifically, ACAI provides practitioners (1) a data lake for storing versioned datasets and their corresponding metadata, and (2) an execution engine for executing ML jobs on the cloud with automatic resource provisioning (auto-provision), logging and provenance tracking. To evaluate ACAI, we test the efficacy of our auto-provisioner on the MNIST handwritten digit classification task, and we study the usability of our system using experiments and interviews. We show that our auto-provisioner produces a 1.7x speed-up and 39% cost reduction, and our system reduces experiment time for ML scientists by 20% on typical ML use cases.
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