Lightweight Automated Feature Monitoring for Data Streams

João Conde, Ricardo Moreira, João Torres, Pedro Cardoso, Hugo Ferreira, Marco O. P. Sampaio, João Tiago Ascensão, Pedro Bizarro

Published at KDD 2022 - AutoML workshop

AI Research, Systems Research


Monitoring the behavior of automated real-time stream processing systems has become one of the most relevant problems in real world applications. Such systems have grown in complexity relying heavily on high dimensional input data, and data hungry Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. We propose a flexible system, Feature Monitoring (FM), that detects data drifts in such data sets, with a small and constant memory footprint and a small computational cost in streaming applications. The method is based on a multivariate statistical test and is data driven by design (full reference distributions are estimated from the data). It monitors all features that are used by the system, while providing an interpretable features ranking whenever an alarm occurs (to aid in root cause analysis). The computational and memory lightness of the system results from the use of Exponential Moving Histograms. In our experimental study, we analyze the system’s behavior with its parameters and, more importantly, show examples where it detects problems that are not directly related to a single feature. This illustrates how FM eliminates the need to add custom signals to detect specific types of problems and that monitoring the available space of features is often enough.

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