Code Smells for Machine Learning Applications

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

The popularity of machine learning has wildly expanded in recent years. Machine learning techniques have been heatedly studied in academia and applied in the industry to create business value. However, there is a lack of guidelines for code quality in machine learning applications. In particular, code smells have rarely been studied in this domain. Although machine learning code is usually integrated as a small part of an overarching system, it usually plays an important role in its core functionality. Hence ensuring code quality is quintessential to avoid issues in the long run. This paper proposes and identifies a list of 22 machine learning-specific code smells collected from various sources, including papers, grey literature, GitHub commits, and Stack Overflow posts. We pinpoint each smell with a description of its context, potential issues in the long run, and proposed solutions. In addition, we link them to their respective pipeline stage and the evidence from both academic and grey literature. The code smell catalog helps data scientists and developers produce and maintain high-quality machine learning application code. ACM Reference Format: Haiyin Zhang, Luís Cruz, and Arie van Deursen. 2022. Code Smells for Machine Learning Applications. In 1st Conference on AI Engineering - Software Engineering for AI (CAIN'22), May 16-24, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3522664.3528620

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 1st International Conference on AI Engineering - Software Engineering for AI, CAIN 2022
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Pages217-228
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-9275-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event1st International Conference on AI Engineering - Software Engineering for AI, CAIN 2022 - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: 16 May 202217 May 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings - 1st International Conference on AI Engineering - Software Engineering for AI, CAIN 2022

Conference

Conference1st International Conference on AI Engineering - Software Engineering for AI, CAIN 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPittsburgh
Period16/05/2217/05/22

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.

Keywords

  • Anti-pattern
  • Code Quality
  • Code Smell
  • Machine Learning
  • Technical Debt

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