This lab revolves around two key modules:

  1. DVC for efficient data versioning.
  2. Airflow for seamless automation and orchestration of complete data science and machine learning workflows.

Data Version Control (DVC)

  • DVC is an open-source tool that serves as a powerful asset in the machine learning project toolkit, with a primary focus on data versioning.
  • Data versioning is a critical aspect of any ML project. It allows you to track changes and updates in your datasets over time, ensuring you can always recreate, compare, and reference specific dataset versions used in your experiments.
  • In this lab tutorial, we will be utilizing DVC with Google Cloud Storage to enhance data versioning capabilities, ensuring efficient data management and collaboration within your machine learning project.

Creating a Google Cloud Storage Bucket

  1. Navigate to Google Cloud Console.
  2. Ensure you’ve created a new project specifically for this lab.
  3. In the Navigation menu, select “Cloud Storage,” then go to “Buckets,” and click on “Create a new bucket.”
  4. Assign a unique name to your bucket.
  5. Select the region as us-east1
  6. Proceed by clicking “Continue” until your new bucket is successfully created.
  7. Once the bucket is created, we need to get the credentials to connect the GCP remote to the project. Go to the IAM & Admin service and go to Service Accounts in the left sidebar.
  8. Click the Create Service Account button to create a new service account that you’ll use to connect to the DVC project in a bit. Now you can add the name and ID for this service account and keep all the default settings. We’ve chosen lab2 for the name. Click Create and Continue and it will show the permissions settings. Select Owner in the dropdown and click Continue.
  9. Then add your user to have access to the service account and click Done. Finally, you’ll be redirected to the Service accounts page. You’ll see your service account and you’ll be able to click on Actions and go to where you Manage keys for this service account.
  10. Once you’ve been redirected, click the Add Key button and this will bring up the credentials you need to authenticate your GCP account with your project. Proceed by downloading the credentials in JSON format and securely store the file. This file will serve as the authentication mechanism for DVC when connecting to Google Cloud.

Installing DVC with Google Cloud Support

  • Ensure you have DVC with Google Cloud support installed on your system by using the following command: pip install dvc[gs]
  • Note that, depending on your chosen remote storage, you may need to install optional dependencies such as [s3], [azure], [gdrive], [gs], [oss], [ssh]. To include all optional dependencies, use [all].
  • Run this command to setup google cloud bucket as your storage dvc remote add -d myremote gs://<mybucket>
  • In order for DVC to be able to push and pull data from the remote, you need to have valid GCP credentials.
  • Run the following command for authentication dvc remote modify --lab2 credentialpath <YOUR JSON TOKEN LOCATION>

Tracking Data with DVC

  • Ensure you have downloaded the required data and placed it in the “data” folder, renaming the file to “CC_GENERAL.csv.”
  • To initiate data tracking, execute the following steps:
    1. Run the dvc init command to initialize DVC for your project. This will generate a .dvc file that stores metadata and configuration details. Your .dvc file config metadata will look something like this
       remote = lab2
        ['remote "lab2"']
       url = gs://ie7374
    2. Next, use dvc add data/CC_GENERAL.csv to instruct DVC to start tracking this specific dataset.
    3. To ensure version control, add the generated .dvc file to your Git repository with git add data/CC_GENERAL_csv.dvc.
    4. Also, include the .gitignore file located in the “data” folder in your Git repository by running git add data/.gitignore.
    5. To complete the process, commit these changes with Git to record the dataset tracking configuration.
  • To push your data to the remote storage in Google Cloud, use the following DVC command: dvc push This command will upload your data to the Google Cloud Storage bucket specified in your DVC configuration, making it accessible and versioned in the cloud.

Handling Data Changes and Hash Updates

Whenever your dataset undergoes changes, DVC will automatically compute a new hash for the updated file. Here’s how the process works:

  • Update the Dataset: Replace the existing “CC_GENERAL.csv” file in the “data” folder with the updated version.
  • Update DVC Tracking: Execute dvc add data/CC_GENERAL.csv again to update DVC with the new version of the dataset. When DVC computes the hash for the updated file, it will be different from the previous hash, reflecting the changes in the dataset.
  • Commit and Push: Commit the changes with Git and push them to your Git repository. This records the update to the dataset, including the new hash.
  • Storage in Google Cloud: When you run dvc push, DVC uploads the updated dataset to the Google Cloud Storage bucket specified in your DVC configuration. Each version of the dataset is stored as a distinct object within the bucket, organized for easy retrieval.

    Reverting to Previous Versions with Hashes

    To revert to a previous dataset version:

  • Checkout Git Commit: Use Git to checkout the specific commit where the desired dataset version was last committed. For example, run git checkout <commit-hash>
  • Use DVC: After checking out the Git commit, use DVC to retrieve the dataset version corresponding to that commit by running dvc checkout. DVC uses the stored hash to identify and fetch the correct dataset version associated with that commit.

💡Note: Follow this tutorial to learn more about DVC.

ML Model

This script is designed for data clustering using K-Means clustering and determining the optimal number of clusters using the elbow method. It provides functionality to load data from a CSV file, perform data preprocessing, build and save a K-Means clustering model, and determine the number of clusters based on the elbow method.


Before using this script, make sure you have the following libraries installed:

  • pandas
  • scikit-learn (sklearn)
  • kneed
  • pickle


You can use this script to perform K-Means clustering on your dataset as follows:

# Load the data
data = load_data()

# Preprocess the data
preprocessed_data = data_preprocessing(data)

# Build and save the clustering model
sse_values = build_save_model(preprocessed_data, 'clustering_model.pkl')

# Load the saved model and determine the number of clusters
result = load_model_elbow('clustering_model.pkl', sse_values)


  1. load_data():
    • Description: Loads data from a CSV file, serializes it, and returns the serialized data.
    • Usage:
      data = load_data()
  2. data_preprocessing(data)
    • Description: Deserializes data, performs data preprocessing, and returns serialized clustered data.
    • Usage:
      preprocessed_data = data_preprocessing(data)
  3. build_save_model(data, filename)
    • Description: Builds a K-Means clustering model, saves it to a file, and returns SSE values.
    • Usage:
      sse_values = build_save_model(preprocessed_data, 'clustering_model.pkl')
  4. load_model_elbow(filename, sse)
    • Description: Loads a saved K-Means clustering model and determines the number of clusters using the elbow method.
    • Usage:
      result = load_model_elbow('clustering_model.pkl', sse_values)

Airflow Setup

Use Airflow to author workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) of tasks. The Airflow scheduler executes your tasks on an array of workers while following the specified dependencies.



Prerequisites: You should allocate at least 4GB memory for the Docker Engine (ideally 8GB).


  • Docker Desktop Running



  1. Create a new directory
     mkdir -p ~/app
     cd ~/app
  2. Running Airflow in Docker - Refer
    a. You can check if you have enough memory by running this command
     docker run --rm "debian:bullseye-slim" bash -c 'numfmt --to iec $(echo $(($(getconf _PHYS_PAGES) * $(getconf PAGE_SIZE))))'

    b. Fetch docker-compose.yaml

     curl -LfO ''

    c. Setting the right Airflow user

     mkdir -p ./dags ./logs ./plugins ./working_data
     echo -e "AIRFLOW_UID=$(id -u)" > .env

    d. Update the following in docker-compose.yml

     # Donot load examples
     # Additional python package
     # Output dir
     - ${AIRFLOW_PROJ_DIR:-.}/working_data:/opt/airflow/working_data
     # Change default admin credentials

    e. Initialize the database

     docker compose up airflow-init

    f. Running Airflow

     docker compose up

    Wait until terminal outputs

     app-airflow-webserver-1  | - - [17/Feb/2023:09:34:29 +0000] "GET /health HTTP/1.1" 200 141 "-" "curl/7.74.0"

    g. Enable port forwarding.

    h. Visit localhost:8080 login with credentials set on step 2.d

  3. Explore UI and add user Security > List Users
  4. Create a python script dags/
    • BashOperator
    • PythonOperator
    • Task Dependencies
    • Params
    • Crontab schedules You can have n number of scripts inside dags dir
  5. Stop docker containers
     docker compose down

Airflow DAG Script

This part of the lab provides a detailed explanation of the Python script that defines an Airflow Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) for a data processing and modeling workflow.

Script Overview

The script defines an Airflow DAG named your_python_dag that consists of several tasks. Each task represents a specific operation in a data processing and modeling workflow. The script imports necessary libraries, sets default arguments for the DAG, creates PythonOperators for each task, defines task dependencies, and provides command-line interaction with the DAG.

Importing Libraries

# Import necessary libraries and modules
from airflow import DAG
from airflow.operators.python_operator import PythonOperator
from datetime import datetime, timedelta
from src.lab2 import load_data, data_preprocessing, build_save_model, load_model_elbow
from airflow import configuration as conf

The script starts by importing the required libraries and modules. Notable imports include the DAG and PythonOperator classes from the airflow package, datetime manipulation functions, and custom functions from the src.lab2 module.

Enable pickle support for XCom, allowing data to be passed between tasks

conf.set('core', 'enable_xcom_pickling', 'True')

Define default arguments for your DAG

default_args = {
    'owner': 'your_name',
    'start_date': datetime(2023, 9, 17),
    'retries': 0,  # Number of retries in case of task failure
    'retry_delay': timedelta(minutes=5),  # Delay before retries

Default arguments for the DAG are specified in a dictionary named default_args. These arguments include the DAG owner’s name, the start date, the number of retries, and the retry delay in case of task failure.

Create a DAG instance named ‘your_python_dag’ with the defined default arguments

dag = DAG(
    description='Your Python DAG Description',
    schedule_interval=None,  # Set the schedule interval or use None for manual triggering

Here, the DAG object dag is created with the name ‘your_python_dag’ and the specified default arguments. The description provides a brief description of the DAG, and schedule_interval defines the execution schedule (in this case, it’s set to None for manual triggering). catchup is set to False to prevent backfilling of missed runs.

Task to load data, calls the ‘load_data’ Python function

load_data_task = PythonOperator(

Task to perform data preprocessing, depends on ‘load_data_task’

data_preprocessing_task = PythonOperator(

The ‘data_preprocessing_task’ depends on the ‘load_data_task’ and calls the data_preprocessing function, which is provided with the output of the ‘load_data_task’.

Task to build and save a model, depends on ‘data_preprocessing_task’

build_save_model_task = PythonOperator(
    op_args=[data_preprocessing_task.output, "model2.sav"],

The ‘build_save_model_task’ depends on the ‘data_preprocessing_task’ and calls the build_save_model function. It also provides additional context information and arguments.

Task to load a model using the ‘load_model_elbow’ function, depends on ‘build_save_model_task’

load_model_task = PythonOperator(
    op_args=["model2.sav", build_save_model_task.output],

The ‘load_model_task’ depends on the ‘build_save_model_task’ and calls the load_model_elbow function with specific arguments.

Set task dependencies

load_data_task >> data_preprocessing_task >> build_save_model_task >> load_model_task

Task dependencies are defined using the » operator. In this case, the tasks are executed in sequence: ‘load_data_task’ -> ‘data_preprocessing_task’ -> ‘build_save_model_task’ -> ‘load_model_task’.

If this script is run directly, allow command-line interaction with the DAG

if __name__ == "__main__":
  • Lastly, the script allows for command-line interaction with the DAG. When the script is run directly, the dag.cli() function is called, providing the ability to trigger and manage the DAG from the command line.
  • This script defines a comprehensive Airflow DAG for a data processing and modeling workflow, with clear task dependencies and default arguments.

Running an Apache Airflow DAG Pipeline in Docker

This guide provides detailed steps to set up and run an Apache Airflow Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) pipeline within a Docker container using Docker Compose. The pipeline is named “your_python_dag.”


  • Docker: Make sure Docker is installed and running on your system.

Step 1: Directory Structure

Ensure your project has the following directory structure:

├── dags/
│   ├──     # Your DAG script
├── src/
│   ├──                # Data processing and modeling functions
├── data/                       # Directory for data (if needed)
├── docker-compose.yaml         # Docker Compose configuration

Step 2: Docker Compose Configuration

Create a docker-compose.yaml file in the project root directory. This file defines the services and configurations for running Airflow in a Docker container.

Step 3: Start the Docker containers by running the following command

docker compose up

Wait until you see the log message indicating that the Airflow webserver is running:

app-airflow-webserver-1 | - - [17/Feb/2023:09:34:29 +0000] "GET /health HTTP/1.1" 200 141 "-" "curl/7.74.0"

Step 4: Access Airflow Web Interface

  • Open a web browser and navigate to http://localhost:8080
  • Log in with the credentials set in the .env file or use the default credentials (username: admin, password: admin).
  • Once logged in, you’ll be on the Airflow web interface.

Step 5: Trigger the DAG

  • In the Airflow web interface, navigate to the “DAGs” page.
  • You should see the “your_python_dag” listed.
  • To manually trigger the DAG, click on the “Trigger DAG” button or enable the DAG by toggling the switch to the “On” position.
  • Monitor the progress of the DAG in the Airflow web interface. You can view logs, task status, and task execution details.

Step 6: Pipeline Outputs

  • Once the DAG completes its execution, check any output or artifacts produced by your functions and tasks.