Continuous Auditing Based Certification for MLOps
In the rapidly evolving field of machine learning, the need for continuous and automated quality assurance is becoming increasingly important. MLOps involves deploying, monitoring, and maintaining machine learning models in production, which requires strict adherence to quality standards. However, traditional point-in-time certifications fall short in providing trust in system that changes on a high pace. These certifications often lack timeliness and therefore stakeholder might not have trust in the systems the ability to proactively identify and address emerging risks and mitigations.
To meet the demanding requirements of MLOps IML4E has developed CABC for MLops.
What is it?
Continuous Auditing Based Certification (CABC) is a method for quality assessment and certification in dynamic systems, such as machine learning. It overcomes limitations of traditional point-in-time certifications by providing regular monitoring and analysis of data from the system to ensure compliance with standards and regulations. The CABC process involves evidence collection, assessment, and reporting. In a MLOps setup, CABC is implemented in two phases, with ongoing monitoring and automated assessment of artifacts generated during the ML lifecycle. The results of the assessments lead to the issuance or revocation of a certification.
Why is it necessary?
ML deployments require strict adherence to quality standards. Traditional point-in-time certifications don’t require ongoing and automated quality assessment, which is the goto way of providing trust in a constantly changing system. Currently, audits are usually performed at intervals of 6 or 12 months, leaving a window of risk where no audit is performed. CABC enables organizations to proactively identify and address emerging risks, maintain the quality and reliability of their machine learning models, and ensure compliance with relevant standards and regulations through regular monitoring and analysis of data from the system.
How does it work?
The initialization phase of Continuous Auditing Based Certification (CABC) in a MLOps setup is an important step in ensuring the quality and compliance of the ML system. During this phase, the scope of the assessment is defined based on the specific risk management for the ML system and its business purpose as well as the field of operation. The auditee is responsible for setting the scope and implementing the measurements and evidence collection.
The auditor plays a crucial role in evaluating the scope and implementation set by the auditee. The auditor verifies that the scope of the assessment is appropriate for the ML system and its business purpose, as well as ensuring that the measurements and evidence collection have been implemented correctly.
Once the auditor has evaluated the scope and implementation, they communicate their findings and their approval to the certification body. This step is crucial in ensuring that the ML system is compliant with relevant standards and regulations and that the CABC process will be effective in monitoring and assessing the organization's compliance posture.
The continuous phase consists of three main components:
- evidence collection,
- and reporting.
Evidence collection involves the use of technology, such as software or specialized tools, to automate the monitoring and collection of data from different parts of the organization. The collected data is then stored in a centralized repository for analysis.
Assessment involves the analysis of the data collected during evidence collection to determine compliance with relevant standards or regulations. This component typically uses machine learning algorithms to process the data, identify patterns and anomalies, and flag any noncompliant activity.
Reporting involves the communication of the results of the assessment to relevant stakeholders, including the auditee and the auditor. This component typically uses dashboards or other tools to provide real-time visibility into the organization's compliance posture.
To ensure the independence of the audit process and increase objectivity, a separation between the auditee and the auditor is maintained throughout the CABC process. To ensure data security and privacy, secure protocols are used for data transfer and storage, and access controls are implemented to limit who can view or modify the data.
In conclusion, CABC provides a more dynamic and flexible approach to traditional certification methods, allowing organizations to proactively identify and address noncompliance issues, detect and respond to emerging risks, and maintain a more comprehensive and up-to-date view of their compliance posture.
How CABC for MLOps is implemented
In the implementation of CABC for MLOps, risks for the ML system are first identified, and then quality requirements are specified and implemented. Measurements are performed on artifacts generated during the ML lifecycle. These artifacts include data sets, model architecture, model parameters, model performance metrics, model evaluation results, feature importances, model explanations, and model robustness. The assessments are continuously conducted, and the results are used to assess the compliance with the established quality requirements.
The evidence collection component involves the use of existing quality measurement tools, as well as specialized tools to automate the monitoring and collection of data from various sources within the ML pipeline. The collected data is then mapped to a unified API and delivered to the auditing entity, ensuring the independence of the assessment from the premises of the auditee. The assessment results are then transferred to the governing body, which either issues or revokes a certificate.