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# Convert TensorFlow models

This page describes how to convert a TensorFlow model to a TensorFlow Lite model (an optimized FlatBuffer format identified by the .tflite file extension) using the TensorFlow Lite converter.

## Conversion workflow

The diagram below illustrations the high-level workflow for converting your model:

Figure 1. Converter workflow.

You can convert your model using one of the following options:

1. Python API (recommended): This allows you to integrate the conversion into your development pipeline, apply optimizations, add metadata and many other tasks that simplify the conversion process.
2. Command line: This only supports basic model conversion.

## Python API

Helper code: To learn more about the TensorFlow Lite converter API, run print(help(tf.lite.TFLiteConverter)).

Convert a TensorFlow model using tf.lite.TFLiteConverter. A TensorFlow model is stored using the SavedModel format and is generated either using the high-level tf.keras.* APIs (a Keras model) or the low-level tf.* APIs (from which you generate concrete functions). As a result, you have the following three options (examples are in the next few sections):

The following example shows how to convert a SavedModel into a TensorFlow Lite model.

import tensorflow as tf

# Convert the model
converter = tf.lite.TFLiteConverter.from_saved_model(saved_model_dir) # path to the SavedModel directory
tflite_model = converter.convert()

# Save the model.
with open('model.tflite', 'wb') as f:
f.write(tflite_model)


### Convert a Keras model

The following example shows how to convert a Keras model into a TensorFlow Lite model.

import tensorflow as tf

# Create a model using high-level tf.keras.* APIs
model = tf.keras.models.Sequential([
tf.keras.layers.Dense(units=1, input_shape=[1]),
tf.keras.layers.Dense(units=16, activation='relu'),
tf.keras.layers.Dense(units=1)
])
model.compile(optimizer='sgd', loss='mean_squared_error') # compile the model
model.fit(x=[-1, 0, 1], y=[-3, -1, 1], epochs=5) # train the model
# (to generate a SavedModel) tf.saved_model.save(model, "saved_model_keras_dir")

# Convert the model.
converter = tf.lite.TFLiteConverter.from_keras_model(model)
tflite_model = converter.convert()

# Save the model.
with open('model.tflite', 'wb') as f:
f.write(tflite_model)


### Convert concrete functions

The following example shows how to convert concrete functions into a TensorFlow Lite model.

import tensorflow as tf

# Create a model using low-level tf.* APIs
class Squared(tf.Module):
@tf.function(input_signature=[tf.TensorSpec(shape=[None], dtype=tf.float32)])
def __call__(self, x):
return tf.square(x)
model = Squared()
# (ro run your model) result = Squared(5.0) # This prints "25.0"
# (to generate a SavedModel) tf.saved_model.save(model, "saved_model_tf_dir")
concrete_func = model.__call__.get_concrete_function()

# Convert the model.

converter = tf.lite.TFLiteConverter.from_concrete_functions([concrete_func],
model)
tflite_model = converter.convert()

# Save the model.
with open('model.tflite', 'wb') as f:
f.write(tflite_model)


### Other features

• Apply optimizations. A common optimization used is post training quantization, which can further reduce your model latency and size with minimal loss in accuracy.

• Add metadata, which makes it easier to create platform specific wrapper code when deploying models on devices.

### Conversion errors

The following are common conversion errors and their solutions:

• Error: Some ops are not supported by the native TFLite runtime, you can enable TF kernels fallback using TF Select. See instructions: <a href="https://www.tensorflow.org/lite/guide/ops_select">https://www.tensorflow.org/lite/guide/ops_select</a> TF Select ops: ..., .., ...

Solution: The error occurs as your model has TF ops that don't have a corresponding TFLite implementation. You can resolve this by using the TF op in the TFLite model (recommended). If you want to generate a model with TFLite ops only, you can either add a request for the missing TFLite op in Github issue #21526 (leave a comment if your request hasn’t already been mentioned) or create the TFLite op yourself.

• Error: .. is neither a custom op nor a flex op

Solution: If this TF op is:

• Supported in TF: The error occurs because the TF op is missing from the allowlist (an exhaustive list of TF ops supported by TFLite). You can resolve this as follows:

• Unsupported in TF: The error occurs because TFLite is unaware of the custom TF operator defined by you. You can resolve this as follows:

1. Create the TF op.
2. Convert the TF model to a TFLite model.
3. Create the TFLite op and run inference by linking it to the TFLite runtime.

## Command Line Tool

If you've installed TensorFlow 2.x from pip, use the tflite_convert command. To view all the available flags, use the following command:

\$ tflite_convert --help

--output_file. Type: string. Full path of the output file.
--saved_model_dir. Type: string. Full path to the SavedModel directory.
--keras_model_file. Type: string. Full path to the Keras H5 model file.
--enable_v1_converter. Type: bool. (default False) Enables the converter and flags used in TF 1.x instead of TF 2.x.

You are required to provide the --output_file flag and either the --saved_model_dir or --keras_model_file flag.


If you have the TensorFlow 2.x source donwloaded and want to run the converter from that source without building and installing the package, you can replace 'tflite_convert' with 'bazel run tensorflow/lite/python:tflite_convert --' in the command.

### Converting a SavedModel

tflite_convert \
--saved_model_dir=/tmp/mobilenet_saved_model \
--output_file=/tmp/mobilenet.tflite


### Converting a Keras H5 model

tflite_convert \
--keras_model_file=/tmp/mobilenet_keras_model.h5 \
--output_file=/tmp/mobilenet.tflite


## Next Steps

Use the TensorFlow Lite interpreter to run inference on a client device (e.g. mobile, embedded).

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