Academy & Industry Research Collaboration Center (AIRCC)

Volume 10, Number 18, December 2020

Minimum Viable Model Estimates for Machine Learning Projects


John Hawkins, Transitional AI Research Group, Australia


Prioritization of machine learning projects requires estimates of both the potential ROI of the business case and the technical difficulty of building a model with the required characteristics. In this work we present a technique for estimating the minimum required performance characteristics of a predictive model given a set of information about how it will be used. This technique will result in robust, objective comparisons between potential projects. The resulting estimates will allow data scientists and managers to evaluate whether a proposed machine learning project is likely to succeed before any modelling needs to be done. The technique has been implemented into the open source application MinViME (Minimum Viable Model Estimator) which can be installed via the PyPI python package management system, or downloaded directly from the GitHub repository. Available at


Machine Learning, ROI Estimation, Machine Learning Metrics, Cost Sensitive Learning.