Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Guild AI?
- When would I use Guild AI?
- How much does Guild cost?
- How is Guild different from other experiment management systems?
- Why not just embed a library for experiment tracking?
- Is Guild AI affiliated with a closed source platform or vendor?
- What is Guild AI’s business model?
- Is it “Guild AI” or “guild.ai”?
- Using Guild AI
What is Guild AI?
Guild AI is an experiment tracking system for machine learning. It’s used by engineers and researchers to run scripts, compare results, and automate machine learning workflow.
Guild is a light weight, external tool that doesn’t require changes to your code. It runs scripts in written in any language or framework on Linux, macOS, and Windows.
Guild AI also refers to the company behind the platform. In cases where we differentiate the software from the company, we use Guild AI platform or Guild AI software.
When would I use Guild AI?
Guild gives you insight into your machine learning work. Use it when you want to:
- Track experiments
- Tune hyperparameters
- Automate reproducibility for yourself and others
- Establish performance baselines for ongoing work and comparison
- Create an audit trail for ML explainability and regulatory compliance
Use Guild early to measure progress or after the project stabilizes to tune hyperparameters and automate reproducibility. When it’s time to run in production, use Guild to track pipeline artifacts for operational control.
How much does Guild cost?
Guild is 100% open source. It’s freely available under the Apache 2.0 license.
How is Guild different from other experiment management systems?
- Guild is an external tool, not an embedded library
- Guild does not require you to modify your code
- Guild does not require additional software or systems like databases or containers
Why not just embed a library for experiment tracking?
When you modify your code to support a library, you take on a new set of requirements. Your code relies on the new software. It relies on the infrastructure and services that software uses.
- Container management systems
- Distributed file systems
- Non-free (closed-source, paid) back-end services
Simple changes to your code (e.g. a few decorated functions) can lead to surprisingly high costs.
- System installation and maintenance
- Hardware and networking
- Vendor lock in
- Runtime complexity
- Non-portability of your models
Non-portable models have a particularly high cost: lost feedback and contributions from colleagues who can’t run your code because the overall system requirements are too high.
Is Guild AI affiliated with a closed source platform or vendor?
Guild AI is an independent open source company without ties to a proprietary platform or cloud.
What is Guild AI’s business model?
Guild AI is an open source company that generates revenue from services and support around the Guild AI platform. Guild AI supports companies in the development of controlled machine learning pipelines. We specialize in building high performance models that meet the safety and ethical guidelines defined by our clients and regulatory agencies.
See Guild AI Services for information on how Guild AI can support your organization.
Is it “Guild AI” or “guild.ai”?
When writing Guild AI, use “Guild AI” — not guild.ai.
guild.ai is used in the logo and is also the product domain. Guild AI, with a space, is the correct use of the both the product and company name.
Using Guild AI
What’s the fatest way to get started?
Can I customize Guild?
Guild AI lets you explicitly configure all aspects of your project.
Guild AI is designed to start quickly and easily and to evolve to support advanced functions as needed. Guild supports a number auto-detect features:
- User input interface: command line arguments or global variables
- User input flag names, types, and descriptions
- Output metrics
All of these features can be controlled using explicit project configuration.
Refer to Guild Files for information on configuring a project.
My script needs a file but can’t find it!
Guild executes each run in the context of a run directory, which is initially empty. Your script assumes that it’s run from your project directory. Any files that your script requires must be explicitly configured using a Guild file.
Refer to Dependencies for details on configuring required resources for your operations.
How does Guild work without requiring code changes?
Guild is a traditional build tool. It relies on external configuration and operating system conventions.
Guild interfaces with your scripts using standard operating system conventions (command arguments, environment variables, standard output, file systems, etc.). This interface is available for any language, framework, and platform.
Guild performs some magic for Python scripts that rely on global variables. This is common in Notebooks, examples, and prototypes. The interface is still external. You don’t need to change your code.
How does Guild save results?
Guild saves all results on a locally mounted file system. Guild does not use databases.
This has a number of benefits:
- No database installation and maintenance costs
- Access to standard file system tools to read, copy, and archive experiments
- Access to standard file and directory diffing tools to compare runs