DYNAMIC ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / MACHINE LEARNING MODEL UPDATE, OR RETRAIN AND UPDATE, IN DIGITAL PROCESSES AT RUNTIME
1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:
- listening for an update request for an artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) model, by a digital process executing on a computing system; and
when the update request is received to update the AWL model, reinitializing or re-instantiating the digital process to call an updated version of the AWL model and listening for another update request, by the digital process executing on the computing system, whereinthe updating of the AI/ML, model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
Dynamically updating, or retraining and updating, artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) models in digital processes at runtime is disclosed. Production operation may not need to be stopped for AI/ML model update or retraining and update. The update steps and/or retraining steps for the AWL model may be included as part of the digital process. The AI/ML model update may be requested from internal logic (e.g., from the evaluation of a condition, by an that expression calls for the AI/ML model, etc.), external requests (e.g., from external triggers in a finite state machine (FSM), such as a file change, database data, a service call, etc.), or both. Automation of AI/ML model updates or retraining and updates may be provided, where the software reloads/reinitializes/re-instantiates with a retrained and/or updated AWL model after (and possibly immediately after) the AI/ML model becomes available.
- 1. A computer-implemented method, comprising:
listening for an update request for an artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) model, by a digital process executing on a computing system; and when the update request is received to update the AWL model, reinitializing or re-instantiating the digital process to call an updated version of the AWL model and listening for another update request, by the digital process executing on the computing system, wherein the updating of the AI/ML, model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)
- 12. A computer program comprising a digital process and embodied on a non-transitory computer-readable medium, the program configured to cause at least one processor to:
listen for a retraining request or an update request for an artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) model; when the retraining request is received to retrain the AWL model, initiate retraining of the AWL model; and when the update request is received to update the AWL model, reinitialize or re-instantiate the digital process to call an updated version of the AI/ML model and listen for another retraining request or update request, wherein the retraining or updating of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
- View Dependent Claims (13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
- 18. A computing system, comprising:
memory storing computer program instructions comprising a digital process; and at least one processor configured to execute the computer program instructions, the instructions configured to cause the at least one processor to; listen for a retraining request for an artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) model, and when the retraining request is received to retrain the AWL model, initiate retraining of the AI/ML model, wherein the retraining of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
- View Dependent Claims (19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24)
- 25. A computer-implemented method for dynamic update, or retraining and update, of an artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) model, comprising:
listening for an update request for the AWL model, by a robotic process automation (RPA) digital process executing on a computing system; and when the update request is received to update the AWL model, reinitializing or re-instantiating the RPA digital process to call an updated version of the AI/ML model and listening for another update request, by the RPA digital process executing on the computing system, wherein the updating of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the RPA digital process, and the RPA digital process comprises an RPA workflow and the AI/ML model is called by an activity of the RPA workflow.
- View Dependent Claims (26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
The present invention generally relates to artificial intelligence (AI), and more specifically, to dynamically updating, or retraining and updating, AI/machine learning (ML) models in digital processes at runtime.
AI/ML models are currently deployed as part of digital processes executed on various types of computing systems. These AI/ML models may perform classifications, provide predictions, perform data analysis, etc. AI/ML models may need to be updated, or retrained and updated, due to a domain or business rule change, to provide better outputs (e.g., predictions, classifications, etc.), or for other reasons.
Currently, the AI/ML model update process requires system downtime and scheduled maintenance time. This can impact employee productivity, revenue generation, availability of services, etc. Accordingly, an improved approach to updating AI/ML models, and to retraining and updating AWL models, may be beneficial.
Certain embodiments of the present invention may provide solutions to the problems and needs in the art that have not yet been fully identified, appreciated, or solved by current AI technologies. For example, some embodiments of the present invention pertain to dynamically updating, or retraining and updating, AI/ML, models in digital processes at runtime.
In an embodiment, a computer-implemented method includes listening for an update request for an AWL model, by a digital process executing on a computing system. When the update request is received to update the AI/ML model, the computer-implemented method includes reinitializing or re-instantiating the digital process to call an updated version of the AI/ML model and listening for another update request, by the digital process executing on the computing system. The updating of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
In another embodiment, a computer program including a digital process is embodied on a non-transitory computer-readable medium. The program is configured to cause at least one processor to listen for a retraining request or an update request for an AI/ML model. When the retraining request is received to retrain the AI/ML model, the program is configured to cause the at least one processor to initiate retraining of the AI/ML model. When the update request is received to update the AI/ML model, the program is configured to cause the at least one processor to reinitialize or re-instantiate the digital process to call an updated version of the AI/ML model and listen for another retraining request or update request. The retraining or updating of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
In yet another embodiment, a computing system includes memory storing computer program instructions including a digital process and at least one processor configured to execute the computer program instructions. The instructions are configured to cause the at least one processor to listen for a retraining request for an AI/ML model. When the retraining request is received to retrain the AI/ML model, the instructions are configured to cause the at least one processor to initiate retraining of the AI/ML model. The retraining of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the digital process.
In still another embodiment, a computer-implemented method for dynamic update, or retraining and update, of an AI/ML model includes listening for an update request for the AI/ML model, by an RPA digital process executing on a computing system. When the update request is received to update the AI/ML model, the computer-implemented method includes reinitializing or re-instantiating the RPA digital process to call an updated version of the AI/ML model and listening for another update request, by the RPA digital process executing on the computing system. The updating of the AI/ML model occurs during runtime of the RPA digital process. The RPA digital process includes an RPA workflow and the AI/ML model is called by an activity of the RPA workflow.
In order that the advantages of certain embodiments of the invention will be readily understood, a more particular description of the invention briefly described above will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments that are illustrated in the appended drawings. While it should be understood that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are not therefore to be considered to be limiting of its scope, the invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which:
Unless otherwise indicated, similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
Some embodiments pertain to dynamically updating, or retraining and updating, AI/ML models in digital processes at runtime (i.e., when the software is executing or while persisted). As such, production operation does not need to be stopped for AWL model update or retraining and update. The update steps and/or retraining steps for the AI/ML model may be included as part of the digital process in some embodiments. In some embodiments, the AWL model update may be requested from internal logic (e.g., from the evaluation of a condition, by an that expression calls for the AI/ML, model, etc.), external requests (e.g., from external triggers in a finite state machine (FSM), such as a file change, database data, a service call, etc.), or both. As used herein, digital processes include software-implemented workflows of all types (e.g., robotic process automation (RPA), business process management (BPM) software flowcharts, sequential flows, FSMs, etc.), applications, solutions, system services, functions, methods, scripts, etc. Operational states of the digital process include, but are not limited to, design time (e.g., stopped, configuring, redesigning, etc.), runtime (e.g., executing, persisted, etc.), etc.
Applications typically imply something that is granular from the functionality perspective and serves a specific role. System solutions can be a part of a larger solution that serves a specific topic (e.g., user management functionality can have password reset, personal time off requests, medical requests, employee onboarding, etc.). Applications typically imply a front-end or user interface (UI), whereas system services usually run in the background. A collection of applications may be grouped as a solution, whereas a collection of services may be grouped as system services.
For maximum efficiency and return of investment (ROI), it may be desirable for the systems and solutions run with as little downtime as possible. Currently, in digital processes, AWL model update, or and retraining and update, requires maintenance downtime, which renders the process unavailable. The ability to dynamically update, or retrain and update, AI/ML models called by digital processes at runtime provides various advantages. For instance, software employing these capabilities may have zero or almost no downtime resulting from updating or retraining and updating AI/ML models. Automation of AI/ML model updates or retraining and updates may be provided, where the software reloads/reinitializes/re-instantiates with a retrained and/or updated AI/ML model after (and possibly immediately after) the AI/ML model becomes available.
As used herein, “reload” is the operation through which the AI/ML model data is taken from the AI/ML model data store (e.g., file, memory, etc.) by its containing layer (e.g., an activity in the case of RPA). “Reinitialization” refers to a state/phase in a generic process where the state of some/all components is reset to an initial/known/desired value. “Re-instantiation” refers to the creation of an object in object oriented programming where the object in this case is the AI/ML Model inside an application, process, function, etc. at runtime.
Some embodiments may automate the AWL model retraining/update process such that it does not need to be executed by a user. For instance, the AI/ML model may be automatically retrained when a predetermined amount of time has elapsed since the last training operation, a predetermined amount of data is received, a combination thereof, etc. When the performance of the retrained AWL model meets expectations (e.g., achieves a 90% accuracy), exceeds performance of the currently executing version, or both, the retrained AI/ML model may be automatically deployed (i.e., updated) without user interaction.
Certain embodiments may be employed for robotic process automation (RPA).
The automation project enables automation of rule-based processes by giving the developer control of the execution order and the relationship between a custom set of steps developed in a workflow, defined herein as “activities.” One commercial example of an embodiment of designer 110 is UiPath Studio™. Each activity may include an action, such as clicking a button, reading a file, writing to a log panel, etc. In some embodiments, workflows may be nested or embedded.
Some types of workflows may include, but are not limited to, sequences, flowcharts, FSMs, and/or global exception handlers. Sequences may be particularly suitable for linear processes, enabling flow from one activity to another without cluttering a workflow. Flowcharts may be particularly suitable to more complex business logic, enabling integration of decisions and connection of activities in a more diverse manner through multiple branching logic operators. FSMs may be particularly suitable for large workflows. FSMs may use a finite number of states in their execution, which are triggered by a condition (i.e., transition) or an activity. Global exception handlers may be particularly suitable for determining workflow behavior when encountering an execution error and for debugging processes.
Once a workflow is developed in designer 110, execution of business processes is orchestrated by conductor 120, which orchestrates one or more robots 130 that execute the workflows developed in designer 110. One commercial example of an embodiment of conductor 120 is UiPath Orchestrator™. Conductor 120 facilitates management of the creation, monitoring, and deployment of resources in an environment. Conductor 120 may act as an integration point, or one of the aggregation points, with third-party solutions and applications.
Conductor 120 may manage a fleet of robots 130, connecting and executing robots 130 from a centralized point. Types of robots 130 that may be managed include, but are not limited to, attended robots 132, unattended robots 134, development robots (similar to unattended robots 134, but used for development and testing purposes), and nonproduction robots (similar to attended robots 132, but used for development and testing purposes). Attended robots 132 are triggered by user events and operate alongside a human on the same computing system. Attended robots 132 may be used with conductor 120 for a centralized process deployment and logging medium. Attended robots 132 may help the human user accomplish various tasks, and may be triggered by user events. In some embodiments, processes cannot be started from conductor 120 on this type of robot and/or they cannot run under a locked screen. In certain embodiments, attended robots 132 can only be started from a robot tray or from a command prompt. Attended robots 132 should run under human supervision in some embodiments.
Unattended robots 134 run unattended in virtual environments and can automate many processes. Unattended robots 134 may be responsible for remote execution, monitoring, scheduling, and providing support for work queues. Debugging for all robot types may be run in designer 110 in some embodiments. Both attended and unattended robots may automate various systems and applications including, but not limited to, mainframes, web applications, VMs, enterprise applications (e.g., those produced by SAP®, SalesForce®, Oracle®, etc.), and computing system applications (e.g., desktop and laptop applications, mobile device applications, wearable computer applications, etc.).
Conductor 120 may have various capabilities including, but not limited to, provisioning, deployment, versioning, configuration, queuing, monitoring, logging, and/or providing interconnectivity. Provisioning may include creating and maintenance of connections between robots 130 and conductor 120 (e.g., a web application). Deployment may include assuring the correct delivery of package versions to assigned robots 130 for execution. Versioning may include management of unique instances of some process or configuration in some embodiments. Configuration may include maintenance and delivery of robot environments and process configurations. Queuing may include providing management of queues and queue items. Monitoring may include keeping track of robot identification data and maintaining user permissions. Logging may include storing and indexing logs to a database (e.g., an SQL database) and/or another storage mechanism (e.g., ElasticSearch®, which provides the ability to store and quickly query large datasets). Conductor 120 may provide interconnectivity by acting as the centralized point of communication for third-party solutions and/or applications.
Robots 130 are execution agents that run workflows built in designer 110. One commercial example of some embodiments of robot(s) 130 is UiPath Robots™. In some embodiments, robots 130 install the Microsoft Windows® Service Control Manager (SCM)-managed service by default. As a result, such robots 130 can open interactive Windows® sessions under the local system account, and have the rights of a Windows® service.
In some embodiments, robots 130 can be installed in a user mode. For such robots 130, this means they have the same rights as the user under which a given robot 130 has been installed. This feature may also be available for High Density (HD) robots, which ensure full utilization of each machine at its maximum potential. In some embodiments, any type of robot 130 may be configured in an HD environment.
Robots 130 in some embodiments are split into several components, each being dedicated to a particular automation task. The robot components in some embodiments include, but are not limited to, SCM-managed robot services, user mode robot services, executors, agents, and command line. SCM-managed robot services manage and monitor Windows® sessions and act as a proxy between conductor 120 and the execution hosts (i.e., the computing systems on which robots 130 are executed). These services are trusted with and manage the credentials for robots 130. A console application is launched by the SCM under the local system.
User mode robot services in some embodiments manage and monitor Windows® sessions and act as a proxy between conductor 120 and the execution hosts. User mode robot services may be trusted with and manage the credentials for robots 130. A Windows® application may automatically be launched if the SCM-managed robot service is not installed.
Executors may run given jobs under a Windows® session (i.e., they may execute workflows. Executors may be aware of per-monitor dots per inch (DPI) settings. Agents may be Windows® Presentation Foundation (WPF) applications that display the available jobs in the system tray window. Agents may be a client of the service. Agents may request to start or stop jobs and change settings. The command line is a client of the service. The command line is a console application that can request to start jobs and waits for their output.
Having components of robots 130 split as explained above helps developers, support users, and computing systems more easily run, identify, and track what each component is executing. Special behaviors may be configured per component this way, such as setting up different firewall rules for the executor and the service. The executor may always be aware of DPI settings per monitor in some embodiments. As a result, workflows may be executed at any DPI, regardless of the configuration of the computing system on which they were created. Projects from designer 110 may also be independent of browser zoom level ins some embodiments. For applications that are DPI-unaware or intentionally marked as unaware, DPI may be disabled in some embodiments.
In some embodiments, a robot represents an association between a machine name and a username. The robot may manage multiple executors at the same time. On computing systems that support multiple interactive sessions running simultaneously (e.g., Windows® Server 2012), multiple robots may be running at the same time, each in a separate Windows® session using a unique username. This is referred to as HD robots above.
Agent 214 is also responsible for sending the status of the robot (e.g., periodically sending a “heartbeat” message indicating that the robot is still functioning) and downloading the required version of the package to be executed. The communication between agent 214 and conductor 230 is always initiated by agent 214 in some embodiments. In the notification scenario, agent 214 may open a WebSocket channel that is later used by conductor 230 to send commands to the robot (e.g., start, stop, etc.).
In addition to web application 232, conductor 230 also includes service layer that exposes OData REST API endpoints 234. However, other endpoints may be included without deviating from the scope of the invention. The REST API is consumed by both web application 232 and agent 214. Agent 214 is the supervisor of one or more robots on the client computer in this embodiment.
The REST API in this embodiment covers configuration, logging, monitoring, and queuing functionality. The configuration endpoints may be used to define and configure application users, permissions, robots, assets, releases, and environments in some embodiments. Logging REST endpoints may be used to log different information, such as errors, explicit messages sent by the robots, and other environment-specific information, for instance. Deployment REST endpoints may be used by the robots to query the package version that should be executed if the start job command is used in conductor 230. Queuing REST endpoints may be responsible for queues and queue item management, such as adding data to a queue, obtaining a transaction from the queue, setting the status of a transaction, etc.
Monitoring REST endpoints may monitor web application 232 and agent 214. Notification and monitoring API 236 may be REST endpoints that are used for registering agent 214, delivering configuration settings to agent 214, and for sending/receiving notifications from the server and agent 214. Notification and monitoring API 236 may also use Web Socket communication in some embodiments.
The persistence layer includes a pair of servers in this embodiment—database server 240 (e.g., a SQL server) and indexer server 250. Database server 240 in this embodiment stores the configurations of the robots, robot groups, associated processes, users, roles, schedules, etc. This information is managed through web application 232 in some embodiments. Database server 240 may manages queues and queue items. In some embodiments, database server 240 may store messages logged by the robots (in addition to or in lieu of indexer server 250).
Indexer server 250, which is optional in some embodiments, stores and indexes the information logged by the robots. In certain embodiments, indexer server 250 may be disabled through configuration settings. In some embodiments, indexer server 250 uses ElasticSearch®, which is an open source project full-text search engine. Messages logged by robots (e.g., using activities like log message or write line) may be sent through the logging REST endpoint(s) to indexer server 250, where they are indexed for future utilization.
UI automation activities 330 are a subset of special, lower level activities that are written in lower level code (e.g., CV activities) and facilitate interactions with the screen. UI automation activities 330 facilitate these interactions via drivers 340 that allow the robot to interact with the desired software. For instance, drivers 340 may include OS drivers 342, browser drivers 344, VM drivers 346, enterprise application drivers 348, etc.
Drivers 340 may interact with the OS at a low level looking for hooks, monitoring for keys, etc. They may facilitate integration with Chrome®, IE®, Citrix®, SAP®, etc. For instance, the “click” activity performs the same role in these different applications via drivers 340.
With respect to
Computing system 500 further includes a memory 515 for storing information and instructions to be executed by processor(s) 510. Memory 515 can be comprised of any combination of Random Access Memory (RAM), Read Only Memory (ROM), flash memory, cache, static storage such as a magnetic or optical disk, or any other types of non-transitory computer-readable media or combinations thereof. Non-transitory computer-readable media may be any available media that can be accessed by processor(s) 510 and may include volatile media, non-volatile media, or both. The media may also be removable, non-removable, or both.
Additionally, computing system 500 includes a communication device 520, such as a transceiver, to provide access to a communications network via a wireless and/or wired connection. In some embodiments, communication device 520 may be configured to use Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA), Single Carrier FDMA (SC-FDMA), Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Global System for Mobile (GSM) communications, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS), cdma2000, Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA), High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA), High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), Long Term Evolution (LTE), LTE Advanced (LTE-A), 802.11x, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Ultra-WideBand (UWB), 802.16x, 802.15, Home Node-B (HnB), Bluetooth, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Infrared Data Association (IrDA), Near-Field Communications (NFC), fifth generation (5G), New Radio (NR), any combination thereof, and/or any other currently existing or future-implemented communications standard and/or protocol without deviating from the scope of the invention. In some embodiments, communication device 520 may include one or more antennas that are singular, arrayed, phased, switched, beamforming, beamsteering, a combination thereof, and or any other antenna configuration without deviating from the scope of the invention.
Processor(s) 510 are further coupled via bus 505 to a display 525, such as a plasma display, a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), a Light Emitting Diode (LED) display, a Field Emission Display (FED), an Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) display, a flexible OLED display, a flexible substrate display, a projection display, a 4K display, a high definition display, a Retina® display, an In-Plane Switching (IPS) display, or any other suitable display for displaying information to a user. Display 525 may be configured as a touch (haptic) display, a three dimensional (3D) touch display, a multi-input touch display, a multi-touch display, etc. using resistive, capacitive, surface-acoustic wave (SAW) capacitive, infrared, optical imaging, dispersive signal technology, acoustic pulse recognition, frustrated total internal reflection, etc. Any suitable display device and haptic I/O may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention.
A keyboard 530 and a cursor control device 535, such as a computer mouse, a touchpad, etc., are further coupled to bus 505 to enable a user to interface with computing system 500. However, in certain embodiments, a physical keyboard and mouse may not be present, and the user may interact with the device solely through display 525 and/or a touchpad (not shown). Any type and combination of input devices may be used as a matter of design choice. In certain embodiments, no physical input device and/or display is present. For instance, the user may interact with computing system 500 remotely via another computing system in communication therewith, or computing system 500 may operate autonomously.
Memory 515 stores software modules that provide functionality when executed by processor(s) 510. The modules include an operating system 540 for computing system 500. The modules further include an AI/ML, model retraining/update module 545 that is configured to perform all or part of the processes described herein or derivatives thereof. Computing system 500 may include one or more additional functional modules 550 that include additional functionality.
One skilled in the art will appreciate that a “system” could be embodied as a server, an embedded computing system, a personal computer, a console, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a cell phone, a tablet computing device, a quantum computing system, or any other suitable computing device, or combination of devices without deviating from the scope of the invention. Presenting the above-described functions as being performed by a “system” is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention in any way, but is intended to provide one example of the many embodiments of the present invention. Indeed, methods, systems, and apparatuses disclosed herein may be implemented in localized and distributed forms consistent with computing technology, including cloud computing systems.
It should be noted that some of the system features described in this specification have been presented as modules, in order to more particularly emphasize their implementation independence. For example, a module may be implemented as a hardware circuit comprising custom very large scale integration (VLSI) circuits or gate arrays, off-the-shelf semiconductors such as logic chips, transistors, or other discrete components. A module may also be implemented in programmable hardware devices such as field programmable gate arrays, programmable array logic, programmable logic devices, graphics processing units, or the like.
A module may also be at least partially implemented in software for execution by various types of processors. An identified unit of executable code may, for instance, include one or more physical or logical blocks of computer instructions that may, for instance, be organized as an object, procedure, or function. Nevertheless, the executables of an identified module need not be physically located together, but may include disparate instructions stored in different locations that, when joined logically together, comprise the module and achieve the stated purpose for the module. Further, modules may be stored on a computer-readable medium, which may be, for instance, a hard disk drive, flash device, RAM, tape, and/or any other such non-transitory computer-readable medium used to store data without deviating from the scope of the invention.
Indeed, a module of executable code could be a single instruction, or many instructions, and may even be distributed over several different code segments, among different programs, and across several memory devices. Similarly, operational data may be identified and illustrated herein within modules, and may be embodied in any suitable form and organized within any suitable type of data structure. The operational data may be collected as a single data set, or may be distributed over different locations including over different storage devices, and may exist, at least partially, merely as electronic signals on a system or network.
In the context of RPA, the AI/ML, model may be available as part of an activity that may be integrated into an RPA workflow using drag-and-drop functionality, for example. The activity may include one or more input arguments of desired types and may return one or more outputs of desired types. The AWL model may be embedded directly in the activity or could be loaded/executed or called/executed from an external source. For instance, the AI/ML model could be loaded/executed or called/executed from a local or remote file in permanent memory, from a service, from a local or remote database, from a stream, from non-permanent memory (e.g., RAM, processor cache, etc.), etc. For instance, if the AI/ML model was trained with ML.NET, the AI/ML model may be loaded from an external .zip file at runtime and may then be initialized/instantiated.
In implementations where the AI/ML model is not stored on the local computing system, the AI/ML model may be stored on and provided or executed by an on-site server accessible by the computing system (which may itself be a server in some embodiments), a remote server at a different site (e.g., a server farm), a cloud storage solution, etc. The AI/ML model may be executed from a file, a database (e.g., via SQL), a service, a universal resource locator (URL), file transfer protocol (FTP), a stream, or via any other suitable mechanism without deviating from the scope of the invention. Indeed, any architectures/configurations where the AI/ML model is able to be loaded/executed or called/executed by the local computing system without deviating from the scope of the invention. This may also be the case with non-RPA embodiments.
By way of nonlimiting example, consider an RPA workflow running as a service that monitors the sentiment of comments received from customers where the workflow is implemented as an FSM. The workflow may monitor a folder for new files that include the customer comments and indicate whether the sentiment in the comments is positive or negative.
An initialization state 610 loads the AI/ML model from an external file and keeps it in memory in a variable that is accessible to the FSM when the associated AI/ML activity calls the AI/ML model. Further details of the sequence of initialization state 610 and the transition to a listening state 620 are shown in
A method is then invoked at 740 that loads the AI/ML model from the local disk and copies it into RAM. See also associated properties 742 of
The fileStream variable holds the data representing the AI/ML model that was loaded from the data store. In the case of a local disk, from this variable, the activity loads the AI/ML model when the activity is instantiated (at the activity object instantiation/creation, in the initialization section of the code, the AI/ML model is loaded from the external variable and assigned into an internal variable that is actually used for processing the input, which is the text parameter in this case).
After the AI/ML model is copied into RAM, the fileStream is disposed of at 770 and FSM 600 is assigned a “listen” state at 780. This may include instrantiating based on a trigger in some embodiments (e.g., an HTTP endpoint). This transitions FSM 600 via init ready transition 622 to listening state 620.
In listening state 620, FRM 600 listens for requests (e.g., from email, from a service, a from chatbot, periodically checking for existence of files in a folder, etc.). In the example of
When a new processing request 632 is received, FSM 600 transitions to an item processing state at 630. A sequence 910 of item processing state 630 is shown in
A body 930 of “for each” activity 920 includes other nested activities. A read text file activity 932 reads the text of the current file that “for each” activity 920 is iterating through in the folder. This text is included as an input to sentiment analysis AI/ML model activity 934. A write line activity 936 writes the output from sentiment analysis AI/ML, model activity 934 for the user to view, and a move file activity 938 moves the current file that “for each” activity 920 has completed analyzing into a different folder.
Properties 1000 of the AI/ML model called by sentiment analysis AWL model activity 934 are shown in
When item processing state 630 is completed at 634, FSM 600 returns to listening state 620. FSM 600 continues processing requests in listening state 620 and item processing state 630 until a retraining request 642 or a new AWL model notification 652 is received. When a retraining request 642 is received (e.g., when retraining is requested by a user or a software application, when a new dataset for retraining is received, after a certain amount of data for retraining is received, after a certain amount of time has elapsed since initial training or the last retraining, etc.), FSM 600 causes the AWL model to be retrained by entering a retraining initialization state 640. This may be done locally on the computing system executing FSM 600, performed by other computing system(s) external to the computing system running FSM 600, or a combination thereof. If the computing system running FSM 600 is a personal computer and the AWL model is complex, for example, it may be beneficial to retrain the AWL model on powerful servers that are optimized for training AWL models (e.g., employing multiple CPUs and GPUs, performing distributed training using multiple servers where the servers split up the processing tasks, etc.). See, for example, system 1400 of
In this example, retraining of the AI/ML model occurs locally, and a window may be displayed showing the user the progress during retraining. See, for example, retraining window 1100 of
When a notification 652 is received that a new AI/ML model or a retrained version of the current AI/ML model is available, FSM 600 enters an update state 650. FSM execution status 1200 during AI/ML model update in
AI/ML Model Update or Retraining and Update Architecture
Per the above, in some embodiments, retraining of the AI/ML, model may occur remotely from the computing system executing the digital process.
Each computing system 1402, 1404, 1406 has a digital process 1410 running thereon that calls and/or executes an AWL model. Digital processes 1410 may be robots generated via an RPA designer application, be part of an operating system, a be downloadable application for a personal computer (PC) or smart phone, or be any other software and/or hardware without deviating from the scope of the invention. Indeed, in some embodiments, the logic of one or more of digital processes 1410 is implemented partially or completely via physical, hardware.
Digital processes 1410 send AI/ML model update requests, or retraining and update requests, via a network 1420 (e.g., a local area network (LAN), a mobile communications network, a satellite communications network, the Internet, any combination thereof, etc.) to a server 1430. In some embodiments, server 1430 may run a conductor application and the data may be sent periodically as part of the heartbeat message. In certain embodiments, the requests may be sent to server 1430 once a predetermined amount of retraining data has been collected, after a predetermined time period has elapsed, or both. Server 1430 stores AI/ML models of various versions in a database 1440.
When instructed by a human user (e.g., an RPA engineer or a data scientist), when a predetermined amount of retraining data has been collected, when a predetermined amount of time has passed since the last retraining, when a retraining request is received, etc., server 1430 runs the retraining data through multiple AI layers 1432. AI layers 1432 process the data and generate a retrained version of the AWL model. AI layers 1432 may perform statistical modeling (e.g., hidden Markov models (HMMs)) and utilize deep learning techniques (e.g., long short term memory (LSTM) deep learning, encoding of previous hidden states, etc.).
In certain embodiments, a data scientist may initiate and/or monitor retraining of the AI/ML model. For instance, the data scientist may supplement the retraining dataset with additional data, retrain the AI/ML model again using different or supplemented training data if the retrained AWL model fails to achieve a desired confidence interval, etc. The data scientist may generate an update notification when the AI/ML model is ready and approved and send it to user computing systems 1402, 1404, 1406. Alternatively, server 1430 may generate the notification.
In some embodiments, multiple 1432 AI layers may be used. Each AI layer 1432 is an algorithm (or model) that runs on the retraining data, and the AI/ML models themselves may be deep learning neural networks (DLNNs) of trained artificial “neurons” that are trained in training data. Layers may be run in series or in parallel.
AI layers 1432 may include, but are not limited to, a sequence extraction layer, a clustering detection layer, a visual component detection layer, a text recognition layer (e.g., OCR), an audio-to-text translation layer, multiple instances of one or more types of layers, or any combination thereof. Any desired number and type(s) of layers may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention. Using multiple layers may allow the system to develop a global picture of what is happening in a screen or process. For example, one AI layer could perform OCR, another could detect buttons, etc. Patterns may be determined individually by an AI layer or collectively by multiple AI layers.
AI/ML Model Update or Retraining and Update Processes
After initialization is complete, digital process 1500 transitions to a work/processing state 1520. In work/processing state 1520, digital process 1500 listens for work requests 1530, as well as AWL model retraining or update requests 1540, and performs request processing via work/request processing component 1522. Work requests 1530 and AWL model retraining or update requests 1540 may be internal (i.e., from the computing system executing digital process 1500) or external (i.e., from another computing system).
When a work request 1530 is received, information for the AWL model is provided as an input to AWL model component 1524, which processes the input information and provides an output to work/request processing component 1522. Work/request processing component 1522 then provides a reply to the requestor associated with work request 1530 (e.g., another software application) with information associated with the results of the execution of AI/ML model component 1524.
When work/request processing component 1522 receives an AI/ML model retraining request 1540, this is sent to AI/ML model retraining component 1552 of update AI/ML model state 1550. New data 1662 for retraining the AWL model is read from AI/ML model stores 1560 (e.g., a database) and the retrained (new) AWL model 1564 is written to AI/ML model stores 1560. Reloading/reinitialization/re-instantiation component 1554 then reloads/reinitializes/re-instantiates digital process 1500 with retrained (new) AWL model 1564, and digital process 1500 then returns to work/processing state 1520 using retrained (new) AI/ML model 1564.
As with digital process 1500, digital process 1600 includes an initialization/instantiation 1610 with components 1612, 1614 for instantiation or initialization of one or more AI/ML, models and for other properties and components of digital process 1600, respectively, a work/processing state 1520 with a work/request processing component 1622 and an AI/ML model component 1524, and work requests 1630. However, in this embodiment, digital process 1600 is not involved in retraining of the AI/ML model. Thus, digital process 1600 receives AWL model update requests 1640.
When an AI/ML model update request 1640 is received by work/request processing component 1622, AI/ML model update request 1640 is sent to reloading/reinitialization/re-instantiation component 1652 of update AWL model state 1650, when then reloads/reinitializes/re-instantiates digital process 1500 with a new (or otherwise updated) AWL model 1662 from AWL model stores 1660. Digital process 1600 then returns to work/processing state 1620 using new AI/ML model 1662.
In some embodiments, the digital process is an RPA workflow, a BPM flowchart, a sequential flow, or an FSM. In certain embodiments, an FSM may be part of an RPA workflow. In certain embodiments, the AI/ML model is called by an activity of an RPA workflow. In some embodiments, the AI/ML model is embedded directly in the activity of the RPA workflow.
The other retraining conditions may provide a mechanism for automatic retraining of the AWL model. These conditions may include a predetermined amount of training data being received, a predetermined amount of time passing since the last retraining, a combination thereof, etc. Any retraining conditions for automatic retraining may be used without deviating from the scope of the invention.
When an update request is received at 1750, the AWL model is updated and the digital process is reinitialized or re-instantiated at 1760. In some embodiments, this may involve comparing performance of the retrained AI/ML model to a performance threshold, against performance of a previous version of the AI/ML model, or both, and only updating the AI/ML model if the new version meets performance criteria. In certain embodiments, if these criteria are not met, no update request is sent.
If a request to execute the AI/ML model is received at 1770, the AI/ML model is executed at 1780. If none of steps 1720, 1730, 1750, or 1770 is satisfied, the process returns to listening for a retraining request or an update request for the AI/ML model at 1710. Process 1700 may continue execution until a digital process implementing process 1700 is stopped.
The process steps performed in
The computer program can be implemented in hardware, software, or a hybrid implementation. The computer program can be composed of modules that are in operative communication with one another, and which are designed to pass information or instructions to display. The computer program can be configured to operate on a general purpose computer, an ASIC, or any other suitable device.
It will be readily understood that the components of various embodiments of the present invention, as generally described and illustrated in the figures herein, may be arranged and designed in a wide variety of different configurations. Thus, the detailed description of the embodiments of the present invention, as represented in the attached figures, is not intended to limit the scope of the invention as claimed, but is merely representative of selected embodiments of the invention.
The features, structures, or characteristics of the invention described throughout this specification may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. For example, reference throughout this specification to “certain embodiments,” “some embodiments,” or similar language means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, appearances of the phrases “in certain embodiments,” “in some embodiment,” “in other embodiments,” or similar language throughout this specification do not necessarily all refer to the same group of embodiments and the described features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.
It should be noted that reference throughout this specification to features, advantages, or similar language does not imply that all of the features and advantages that may be realized with the present invention should be or are in any single embodiment of the invention. Rather, language referring to the features and advantages is understood to mean that a specific feature, advantage, or characteristic described in connection with an embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, discussion of the features and advantages, and similar language, throughout this specification may, but do not necessarily, refer to the same embodiment.
Furthermore, the described features, advantages, and characteristics of the invention may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments. One skilled in the relevant art will recognize that the invention can be practiced without one or more of the specific features or advantages of a particular embodiment. In other instances, additional features and advantages may be recognized in certain embodiments that may not be present in all embodiments of the invention.
One having ordinary skill in the art will readily understand that the invention as discussed above may be practiced with steps in a different order, and/or with hardware elements in configurations which are different than those which are disclosed. Therefore, although the invention has been described based upon these preferred embodiments, it would be apparent to those of skill in the art that certain modifications, variations, and alternative constructions would be apparent, while remaining within the spirit and scope of the invention. In order to determine the metes and bounds of the invention, therefore, reference should be made to the appended claims.