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Continuous Integration


Continues integration is a sub-discipline of the general field of Continues X. Continuous X is one of the core elements of modern DevOps, and by extension MLOps. Continuous X assumes that we have a (long) developer pipeline (see image below) where we want to make some changes to our code e.g:

  • Update our training data or data processing
  • Update our model architecture
  • Something else...

Basically, any code change we will expect will have a influence on the final result. The problem with doing changes to the start of our pipeline is that we want the change to propagate all the way through to the end of the pipeline.


Image credit

This is where continuous X comes into play. The word continuous here refers to the fact that the pipeline should continuously be updated as we make code changes. You can also choose to think of this as the automatization of processes. The X then covers that the process we need to go through to automate steps in the pipeline depends on where we are in the pipeline e.g. the tools needed to do continuous integration are different from the tools needed to do continuous delivery.

In this session, we are going to focus on continuous integration (CI). As indicated in the image above, CI usually takes care of the first part of the developer pipeline which has to do with the code base, code building and code testing. This is paramount to step in automatization as we would rather catch bugs at the beginning of our pipeline than in the end.

Learning objectives

The learning objectives of this session are:

  • Being able to write unit tests that cover both data and models in your ML pipeline
  • Know how to implement CI using Github actions such that tests are automatically executed on code changes
  • Can use pre-commit to secure that code that is not up to standard does not get committed
  • Know how to implement CI for continuous building of containers
  • Basic knowledge of how machine learning processes can be implemented in a continuous way