Machine Learning with AutoAI

For this part of the workshop, we'll learn how to use AutoAI. AutoAI is a capability that automates machine learning tasks to ease the tasks of data scientists. It automatically prepares your data for modeling, chooses the best algorithm for your problem, and creates pipelines for the trained models.

This section is broken up into the following steps:

Note: The lab instructions below assume you have a project already with the assets necessary to build a model. If not, follow the instructions in the pre-work section to create a project.

1. Set up your AutoAI environment and generate pipelines

  • Go to your analytics project overview page.

  • To start the AutoAI experience, click Add to Project from the top and select AutoAI experiment:

Adding a project
  • Name your AutoAI experiment asset and leave the default compute configuration option listed in the drop-down menu. Then, click Create:

Naming your services
  • To configure the experiment, we must give it the dataset to use. Click on the Select from project option.

  • In the dialog, select the Telco-Customer-Churn.csv file and click the Select asset button..

Select file
  • Once the dataset is read in, we will need to indicate what we want the model to predict. Under Select prediction column, find and click on the Churn row.

  • AutoAI will set up defaults values for the experiment based on the dataset. This includes the type of model to build, the metrics to optimize against, the test/train split, etc. You could view/change these values under 'Experiment settings', however, for now we will accept the defaults and click the > Run experiment button:

Choose Churn column and run
  • The AutoAI experiment will now run and the UI will show progress as it happens:

autoai progress
  • The UI will show progress as different algorithms/evaluators are selected and as different pipelines are created & evaluated. You can view the performance of the pipelines that have completed by expanding each pipeline section.

  • The experiment can take several minutes to run. Upon completion you will see a message that the pipelines have been created:

autoai pipelines created

2. Save AutoAI Model

The AutoAI process by default selects top two performing algorithm for a given dataset. After executing the appropriate data pre-processing steps, it follows this sequence for each of the algorithm to build candidate pipelines:

  • Automated model selection

  • Hyperparameter optimization

  • Automated feature engineering

  • Hyperparameter optimization

You can review each pipeline and select to deploy the top performing pipeline from this experiment.

  • Scroll down to see the Pipeline leaderboard. The top performing pipeline is in the first rank.

  • The next step is to select the model that gives the best result by looking at the metrics. In this case, Pipeline 4 gave the best result with the metric "Accuracy(Optimized)." You can view the detailed results by clicking the corresponding pipeline from the leaderboard:

pipeline leaderboard
  • The model evaluation page will show metrics for the experiment, feature transformations that were performed (if any), which features contribute to the model, and more details of the pipeline.

Model evaluation
  • In order to deploy this model, we will Click on the Save as model button to save it.

  • A window opens that asks for the model name, description (optional), and so on. You can accept the defaults or give your model a meaningful name/description and then click Save:

Save model name
  • You receive a notification to indicate that your model is saved to your project. Go back to your project main page by clicking on the project name on the navigator on the top left:

Model notification
  • You will see the new model under Models section of the Assets page:

choose AI model

3. Promote the model

  • Under the Models section of the Assets page, click the name of your saved model.

  • To make the model available to be deployed, we need to make it available in the deployment space we previously set up. Click on the Promote to deployment space:

Deploying the model
  • To promote the asset, you must associate your project with a deployment space. Click Associate Deployment Space:

Associate Deployment Space
  • You should have already created a deployment space in the pre-work section of the workshop. Click on Existing and choose that deployment then click the Associate button.

Create Deployment Space
  • From the model page, once again click on the Promote to deployment space.

Promote Deployment Space
  • This time you will see a notification that the model was promoted to the deployment space succesfully.

View Deployment We've successfully built and saved a machine learning model using AutoAI. Congratulations!


In this section we covered one approach to building machine learning models on Cloud Pak for Data. We have seen how AutoAI helps find an optimal model by automating tasks such as:

  • Data Wrangling

  • Model Algorithm Evaluation & Selection

  • Feature Engineering

  • Hyperparameter Optimization.