Track and Compare Tutorial - Amazon SageMaker

Track and Compare Tutorial

This tutorial demonstrates how to visually track and compare trials in a model training experiment using Amazon SageMaker Studio. The basis of the tutorial is the MNIST Handwritten Digits Classification Experiment notebook.

It is intended that this topic be viewed alongside Studio with the MNIST notebook open. As you run through the cells, the sections in this document highlight the relevant code and show you how to observe the results in Studio. Some of the code snippets have been edited for brevity.

To clean up the resources created by the notebook, see Clean Up Amazon SageMaker Experiment Resources.

For a tutorial that showcases additional features of Studio, see Amazon SageMaker Studio Tour.


  • A local copy of the MNIST example notebook and the companion file. Both files are available from the sagemaker_experiments/mnist-handwritten-digits-classification-experiment folder in the aws/amazon-sagemaker-examples repository. To download the files, choose each link, right-click on the Raw button, and then choose Save as.

  • An IAM Identity Center or IAM account to sign-on to SageMaker Studio. For more information, see Onboard to Amazon SageMaker Domain.

Open the Notebook in Studio

To open the notebook

  1. Sign-on to Studio.

  2. In the left sidebar, choose the File Browser icon ( ).

  3. At the top of the file browser pane, choose the Up arrow icon and then a File Upload dialog opens. Browse to and choose your local versions of the mnist-handwritten-digits-classification-experiment.ipynb and files, and then choose Open.

  4. The two files are listed in the file browser. Double-click the uploaded notebook file to open the notebook in a new tab.

  5. At the top right of the notebook, make sure the kernel is Python 3 (Data Science). If not, choose the current kernel name to open the Select Kernel dropdown. Choose Python 3 (Data Science) and then choose Select.

Install the Experiments SDK and Import Modules

The Amazon SageMaker Experiments Python SDK is separate from the Amazon SageMaker Python SDK, which comes preinstalled in SageMaker Studio. Run the first few cells in the notebook to install the Experiments SDK and import the Experiments modules. The relevant sections of the notebook cells are displayed below.

import sys !{sys.executable} -m pip install sagemaker-experiments
import sagemaker from sagemaker import get_execution_role from sagemaker.session import Session from import ExperimentAnalytics from smexperiments.experiment import Experiment from smexperiments.trial import Trial from smexperiments.trial_component import TrialComponent from smexperiments.tracker import Tracker

Transform and Track the Input Data

The next few cells create an Amazon S3 bucket and a folder in the bucket named mnist. In Studio, the file browser displays the mnist folder. The input data is downloaded to the mnist/MNIST/raw folder, normalized, and then the transformed data is uploaded to the mnist/MNIST/processed folder. You can drill down into the mnist folder to display, but not open, the data files.

Your screen should look similar to the following:

The last cell in the Dataset section creates a Tracker for the transform job. The tracker logs the normalization parameters and the URI of the Amazon S3 bucket where the transformed dataset is stored. In a later section, we show how to find this information in Studio. In the next section, the tracker is used to track the experiment and trial runs.

with Tracker.create(display_name="Preprocessing", sagemaker_boto_client=sm) as tracker: tracker.log_parameters({ "normalization_mean": 0.1307, "normalization_std": 0.3081, }) tracker.log_input(name="mnist-dataset", media_type="s3/uri", value=inputs)

Create and Track an Experiment

The following procedure creates and tracks an experiment to determine the effect of the model's num_hidden_channel hyperparameter. As part of the experiment, five trials are created inside a loop, one for each value of the num_hidden_channel hyperparameter. Later in the notebook, you'll compare the results of these five trials.

  1. In the left sidebar of Studio, choose the SageMaker resources icon ( ). In the dropdown menu, choose Experiments and trials to display the list of experiments in your account.

  2. Run the following cell.

    mnist_experiment = Experiment.create( experiment_name=f"mnist-hand-written-digits-classification-{int(time.time())}", description="Classification of mnist hand-written digits", sagemaker_boto_client=sm) print(mnist_experiment)


    Experiment(sagemaker_boto_client=<botocore.client.SageMaker object at 0x7f7152b326d8>, experiment_name='mnist-hand-written-digits-classification-1575947870', description='Classification of mnist hand-written digits', experiment_arn='arn:aws:sagemaker:us-east-2:acct-id:experiment/mnist-hand-written-digits-classification-1575947870')

    After the code runs, the experiments list contains an entry for the experiment. It might take a moment to display and you might have to refresh the experiments list. Your screen should look similar to the following:

  3. Run the following cell.

    preprocessing_trial_component = tracker.trial_component

    After the code runs, the experiments list contains an entry labeled Unassigned trial components. The trial component entry is the data preprocessing step previously created. Double-click the trial component for verification. The trial component isn't associated with an experiment at this time. Your screen should look similar to the following:

  4. Choose the Home icon in the navigation breadcrumb at the top on the experiments browser. From there, double-click on your experiment to display a list of the trials in the experiment.

  5. The following code create trials for the experiment. Each trial trains a model using a different number for the num_hidden_channel hyperparameter. The preprocessing trial component is added to each trial for complete tracking (for example, for auditing purposes). The code also specifies definitions for the following metrics:

    • Train loss

    • Test loss

    • Test accuracy

    The definitions tell SageMaker to capture those metrics from the algorithm's log output. The metrics are used later to evaluate and compare the models.

    preprocessing_trial_component = tracker.trial_component for i, num_hidden_channel in enumerate([2, 5, 10, 20, 32]): trial_name = f"cnn-training-job-{num_hidden_channel}-hidden-channels-{int(time.time())}" cnn_trial = Trial.create( trial_name=trial_name, experiment_name=mnist_experiment.experiment_name, sagemaker_boto_client=sm, ) hidden_channel_trial_name_map[num_hidden_channel] = trial_name cnn_trial.add_trial_component(preprocessing_trial_component) estimator = PyTorch( py_version='py3', framework_version='1.1.0', ..., hyperparameters={ 'hidden_channels': num_hidden_channel, ... }, metric_definitions=[ {'Name':'train:loss', 'Regex':'Train Loss: (.*?);'}, {'Name':'test:loss', 'Regex':'Test Average loss: (.*?),'}, {'Name':'test:accuracy', 'Regex':'Test Accuracy: (.*?)%;'} ], enable_sagemaker_metrics=True, ) cnn_training_job_name = "cnn-training-job-{}".format(int(time.time())) inputs={'training': inputs}, job_name=cnn_training_job_name, experiment_config={ "TrialName": cnn_trial.trial_name, "TrialComponentDisplayName": "Training", }, )

    The trial list automatically updates as each training job runs. It takes a few minutes for each trial to be displayed. Your screen should look similar to the following:

Compare and Analyze Trials

This section deviates from the notebook and shows you how to compare and analyze the trained models using the SageMaker Studio UI.

To view the details of a trial

  1. Double-click one of the trials to display a list of the trial components associated with the trial. There's a preprocessing job and training job for each trial. Double-click one of the components to open a new tab that displays information about each component.

  2. Under Trial stages, choose Preprocessing. On the Describe Trial Component menu, choose Parameters to display the normalization parameters that were previously logged. Next, choose Artifacts to display the URI of the Amazon S3 bucket where the transformed dataset was stored.

  3. Under Trial stages, choose Training. On the Describe Trial Component menu, choose the following items to display information about the training job trial component.

    • Metricstest:loss, test:accuracy, and train:loss

    • Parameters – hyperparameter values and instance information

    • Artifacts – Amazon S3 storage for the input dataset and the output model

    • AWS Settings – job name, ARN, status, creation time, training time, billable time, instance information, and others

To view a list of trials ordered by test:accuracy

  1. Choose the experiment name on the navigation breadcrumb above TRIAL COMPONENTS to display the trial list.

  2. Choose all five trials. Hold down the CTRL/CMD key and select each trial. Right-click the selection and then choose Open in trial component list. A new tab opens that displays each trial and trial component.

  3. If the TABLE PROPERTIES pane isn't open, choose the Settings icon ( ) in the upper right corner to open it. Deselect everything except Trial, Metrics, and Training job. Choose the Settings icon to close the pane.

  4. Choose the test:accuracy column header to sort the list by decreasing maximum test accuracy. Your screen should look similar to the following:

To view a chart of test:loss versus num_hidden_channel

  1. In the TRIAL COMPONENTS pane, choose all five trials and then choose Add chart. Select inside the chart area to open the preferences pane for CHART PROPERTIES.

  2. In CHART PROPERTIES, choose the following:

    • Data type - Summary statistics

    • Chart type - Line

    • X-axis - hidden-channels

    • Y-axis - test:loss_last

    • Color - None

    Your screen should look similar to the following: