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Workshop: Economics of privacy and data labor

To Call or not to Call? Using ML Prediction APIs more Accurately and Economically by Lingjiao Chen


Prediction APIs offered for a fee are a fast growing industry and an important part of machine learning as a service. While many such services are available, the heterogeneity in their price and performance makes it challenging for users to decide which API or combination of APIs to use for their own data and budget. In this paper, we take a first step towards addressing this challenge by proposing FrugalML, a principled framework that jointly learns the strength and weakness of each API on different data, and performs an efficient optimization to automatically identify the best sequential strategy to adaptively use the available APIs within a budget constraint. Preliminary experiments using ML APIs from Google, Microsoft and Face++ for a facial emotion recognition task show that FrugalML typically leads to more than 50% cost reduction while matching the accuracy of the best single API.

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