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Anushree Mitra
Anushree Mitra

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Cracking the Code: Real-Life Challenges of ML Model Development

Machine Learning (ML) models have revolutionized businesses and industries' operations. It makes data-driven decision-making a reality for businesses. From recommendation systems to fraud detection, ML models play a pivotal role.

In today's data-driven world, Machine Learning (ML) is at the forefront of innovation, empowering businesses and industries. However, the journey of ML model development is not a cakewalk and includes hurdles and challenges.

In this blog, we will explore the complexities of ML model development. So, let's understand the challenges faced by ML developers and delve into effective solution approaches to overcome them.

Introduction to Machine Learning Model

Before diving into the challenges- let's briefly understand the definition of the ML model.

In simple terms, a Machine learning model is a computer program that analyzes new datasets and determines the future process based on observing older datasets.

Machine learning models, for instance, analyze and accurately determine the intent behind useless sentences and word combinations. It generates new text in natural language processing (NLP). It also performs image identification to uncover items or even to produce original photorealistic images.

To accomplish the results-developers "train" ML Models on massive datasets. On a large scale, it results in a typical computer program with particular rules and data structures. Also, it uses the inference technique to find new data and similar predictions.

Types of ML Models Available

There are various types of ML models, each suited for different tasks:

  • Supervised Learning: This model is trained on labeled data, where the input and corresponding output are known. It learns to map inputs to outputs, making predictions on new data.
  • Unsupervised Learning: Here, the model is exposed to unlabeled data and aims to find patterns or clusters within the data.
  • Semi-Supervised Learning: This model operates with a mix of labeled and unlabeled data, combining elements of supervised and unsupervised learning.
  • Reinforcement Learning: The model learns through interactions with an environment, receiving feedback in the form of rewards or penalties.

Classification in ML Model Development

The classification of the ML model is defined as the process of identifying, comprehending, and classifying entities into distinct categories or "classes". In the process of classification, programs examine unknown datasets and categorize them into the most pertinent classes with the use of pre-classified training datasets or unsupervised clustering methods. It typically determines the likelihood that each class will represent the data.

The ML Model Classification is further performed using-

  • Linear Models: These models assume a linear relationship between inputs and outputs.
  • Tree-based Models: These operate hierarchical structures to make predictions in the data.
  • Neural Networks: These consist of interconnected nodes and hidden layers, enabling complex data learning.

Major Dash Challenges of ML Model Development

Data Collection:
To enable model training the first stage in a machine learning project is to locate and gather data assets. Finding data with appropriate quality and quantity is one of the most frequent problems data scientists face. The crisis creates an immediate effect on the capacity to generate reliable ML models. The difficulty in collecting data for ML relies on two major factors.

Unqualified collection:
Businesses gather information without determining whether it would be helpful or devastating. There is a common myth- more data may lead to more insights, and inexpensive data storage is widely accessible. As a result, large amounts of data frequently do more harm than good.

Abundance of Data:
As more apps and tools are used to collect data, there are an increasing number of data sources. Sometimes data scientists combine and assess the data required. It takes a lot of work to integrate data from diverse semi-structured sources, which makes ML Development lengthy.

ML Biasness and Fairness:
An intentional mistake in a machine learning model is called bias. Inaccurate training assumptions, a lack of training examples, and a lack of information on edge instances are typical sources of bias. Bias problems may also arise from biases present in the training data.
Bias is officially defined as the discrepancy between the correct response and the mean model forecast. High-bias models have a high error rate, are unable to detect relevant data trends, run the danger of over-generalizing the training data, and may indicate compliance problems.

ML Inference:
The technique of using real-time data points with an ML algorithm is an ML interface. It is used to produce real-time data output. This fundamentally necessitates the deployment of a software application to a production environment as ML models use software code that executes mathematical techniques.
Data scientists frequently lack DevOps or technical knowledge, making it possible that they are unable to successfully deploy models. Sometimes, they lack the knowledge of deploying ML models into production. It creates a burden on the deployment and delays the whole process.

Data Security & Privacy:
Dataset usage is becoming more challenging for data scientists due to privacy issues and expanding compliance constraints. Cyberattacks have also become more frequent in recent years due to the shift to cloud settings and the growing complexity of IT environments.
Organizations face an additional barrier in maintaining security and compliance with data protection laws like the GDPR. If you don't, you risk facing steep fines, harm to your reputation, and pricey audits.

Underfitting & Overfitting of Data:
Underfitting and overfitting of data also create problems for the deployment of the ML Model. Underfitting occurs when data cannot curate an accurate relationship between input and output variables. On the other hand, Overfitting occurs when an ML Model is trained excessively and creates a negative impact on the performance.
Businesses sometimes get noisy and biased data due to the underfitting and overfitting of data. It hampers the ML Model deployment and affects the entire process.

Slow Implementation:
One of the frequent problems that experts in machine learning deal with is this. Although, it takes a long time. Machine learning models are very effective at producing correct results. It typically takes a long time to get reliable findings due to sluggish programs, data overload, and high needs. To get the optimum results, it also needs ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

Algorithm Imperfection:
The ML Model algorithm you are using can not perform the same in the future. The ML Algorithm changes frequently with time. As the data will grow, the model will become useless. It is not stagnant and can demand a future rearrangement for seamless performance.

Addressing Approach for ML Model Development

Machine Learning Monitoring
To ensure consistent performance, ML monitoring keeps an eye on the processed models. There are many factors that demand the monitoring of ML Models, some include- Broken data pipelines, changes in the real world, and more. These changes further can alter the performance, which is not negotiable. Without monitoring, ML models may perform poorly and developers can't even recognize the cause.
You may get complete visibility into ML models and spot production problems at an early stage by using a monitoring platform. It aids in identifying model instability problems, understanding how and why the model isn't working well, diagnosing particular problems, and fixing them.

Traditional Software Testing
Combining ML model monitoring with conventional software testing is the best practice available. It ensures the full operation of ML models. Each software test evaluates the model and performs validation, testing, and inference. The three primary types of tests used in software development can be applied to an ML model as follows:

  • Unit tests: It verifies that the code used to create the ML pipeline is correct.
  • Regression tests- It is used to determine whether a change causes the model to break and whether previously identified faults are reoccurring.
  • Integration Test- It verifies adequate interactivity between the various parts of the machine learning process using integration tests.

Machine Learning Governance
The total procedure through which organizations restrict access, uphold regulations, and monitor models and their output is known as AI/ML model governance. Effective model governance is crucial for regulatory compliance and can shield the company from loss of money and goodwill. You may reduce the organizational risk from AI/ML models during compliance audits by putting in place a strong governance program.
ML Model Governance includes the following techniques:

  • Establishing access restrictions for all production models.
  • Overseeing all model iterations one by one.
  • Creating the necessary paperwork
  • Restless Monitoring models for a better output.
  • Applying current IT guidelines to machine learning programs.

Organizations that successfully integrate all of the aforementioned elements obtain operational benefits that aid in boosting the return on investment of AI efforts, in addition to reducing risk.

ML Model Optimization Techniques

The primary goal of machine learning is to create models that correctly forecast specific sets of outcomes. In order to develop a model that is efficient and effective, machine learning optimization is necessary.

Using optimization approaches, machine learning optimization entails modifying hyperparameters to reduce cost functions.

ML Optimization that performs includes:

  • Data Preprocessing: Investing in data cleaning, imputation, and augmentation techniques enhances data quality and availability.
  • Feature Selection & Engineering: Collaborating with domain experts and using automated feature selection tools streamline the process.
  • Hyperparameter Optimization: Leveraging grid search, random search, or Bayesian optimization efficiently tunes hyperparameters.
  • Explainable AI: Utilizing model-agnostic interpretability techniques helps understand model decisions.
  • Regularization: Adding penalty terms to the model's loss function prevents overfitting and improves generalization.
  • Ensemble Methods: Combining multiple models enhances predictive accuracy and stability.
  • Transfer Learning: Reusing pre-trained models for new tasks accelerates model development.
  • Model Compression: Reducing model size and complexity makes deployment and inference faster.


ML model development is an exciting journey, but not without its complexities. Understanding the different types of ML models and the challenges they present lays the groundwork for effective solutions. As we address these challenges with innovative approaches and continuous optimization, the potential of ML models to transform industries and drive positive change becomes boundless. By leveraging the power of machine learning responsibly, we can create a brighter and smarter future for all.

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