# tf.function

Compiles a function into a callable TensorFlow graph. (deprecated arguments) (deprecated arguments) (deprecated arguments)

tf.function constructs a tf.types.experimental.PolymorphicFunction that executes a TensorFlow graph (tf.Graph) created by trace-compiling the TensorFlow operations in func. More information on the topic can be found in Introduction to Graphs and tf.function.

See Better Performance with tf.function for tips on performance and known limitations.

#### Example usage:

@tf.function
def f(x, y):
return x ** 2 + y
x = tf.constant([2, 3])
y = tf.constant([3, -2])
f(x, y)
<tf.Tensor: ... numpy=array([7, 7], ...)>

The trace-compilation allows non-TensorFlow operations to execute, but under special conditions. In general, only TensorFlow operations are guaranteed to run and create fresh results whenever the PolymorphicFunction is called.

## Features

func may use data-dependent Python control flow statements, including if, for, while break, continue and return:

@tf.function
def f(x):
if tf.reduce_sum(x) > 0:
return x * x
else:
return -x // 2
f(tf.constant(-2))
<tf.Tensor: ... numpy=1>

func's closure may include tf.Tensor and tf.Variable objects:

@tf.function
def f():
return x ** 2 + y
x = tf.constant([-2, -3])
y = tf.Variable([3, -2])
f()
<tf.Tensor: ... numpy=array([7, 7], ...)>

func may also use ops with side effects, such as tf.print, tf.Variable and others:

v = tf.Variable(1)
@tf.function
def f(x):
for i in tf.range(x):
f(3)
v
<tf.Variable ... numpy=4>
l = []
@tf.function
def f(x):
for i in x:
l.append(i + 1)    # Caution! Will only happen once when tracing
f(tf.constant([1, 2, 3]))
l
[<tf.Tensor ...>]

Instead, use TensorFlow collections like tf.TensorArray:

@tf.function
def f(x):
ta = tf.TensorArray(dtype=tf.int32, size=0, dynamic_size=True)
for i in range(len(x)):
ta = ta.write(i, x[i] + 1)
return ta.stack()
f(tf.constant([1, 2, 3]))
<tf.Tensor: ..., numpy=array([2, 3, 4], ...)>

## tf.function creates polymorphic callables

Internally, tf.types.experimental.PolymorphicFunction may contain multiple tf.types.experimental.ConcreteFunctions, each specialized to arguments with different data types or shapes, since TensorFlow can perform more optimizations on graphs of specific shapes, dtypes and values of constant arguments. tf.function treats any pure Python values as opaque objects (best thought of as compile-time constants), and builds a separate tf.Graph for each set of Python arguments that it encounters. For more information, see the tf.function guide

Executing a PolymorphicFunction will select and execute the appropriate ConcreteFunction based on the argument types and values.

To obtain an individual ConcreteFunction, use the PolymorphicFunction.get_concrete_function method. It can be called with the same arguments as func and returns a tf.types.experimental.ConcreteFunction. ConcreteFunctions are backed by a single tf.Graph:

@tf.function
def f(x):
return x + 1
isinstance(f.get_concrete_function(1).graph, tf.Graph)
True

ConcreteFunctions can be executed just like PolymorphicFunctions, but their input is resticted to the types to which they're specialized.

## Retracing

ConcreteFunctions are built (traced) on the fly, as the PolymorphicFunction is called with new TensorFlow types or shapes, or with new Python values as arguments. When PolymorphicFunction builds a new trace, it is said that func is retraced. Retracing is a frequent performance concern for tf.function as it can be considerably slower than executing a graph that's already been traced. It is ideal to minimize the amount of retracing in your code.

@tf.function
def f(x):
return tf.abs(x)
f1 = f.get_concrete_function(1)
f2 = f.get_concrete_function(2)  # Slow - compiles new graph
f1 is f2
False
f1 = f.get_concrete_function(tf.constant(1))
f2 = f.get_concrete_function(tf.constant(2))  # Fast - reuses f1
f1 is f2
True

Python numerical arguments should only be used when they take few distinct values, such as hyperparameters like the number of layers in a neural network.

## Input signatures

For Tensor arguments, PolymorphicFunctioncreates a new ConcreteFunction for every unique set of input shapes and datatypes. The example below creates two separate ConcreteFunctions, each specialized to a different shape:

@tf.function
def f(x):
return x + 1
vector = tf.constant([1.0, 1.0])
matrix = tf.constant([[3.0]])
f.get_concrete_function(vector) is f.get_concrete_function(matrix)
False

An "input signature" can be optionally provided to tf.function to control this process. The input signature specifies the shape and type of each Tensor argument to the function using a tf.TensorSpec object. More general shapes can be used. This ensures only one ConcreteFunction is created, and restricts the PolymorphicFunction to the specified shapes and types. It is an effective way to limit retracing when Tensors have dynamic shapes.

@tf.function(
input_signature=[tf.TensorSpec(shape=None, dtype=tf.float32)])
def f(x):
return x + 1
vector = tf.constant([1.0, 1.0])
matrix = tf.constant([[3.0]])
f.get_concrete_function(vector) is f.get_concrete_function(matrix)
True

## Variables may only be created once

tf.function only allows creating new tf.Variable objects when it is called for the first time:

class MyModule(tf.Module):
def __init__(self):
self.v = None

@tf.function
def __call__(self, x):
if self.v is None:
self.v = tf.Variable(tf.ones_like(x))
return self.v * x

In general, it is recommended to create tf.Variables outside of tf.function. In simple cases, persisting state across tf.function boundaries may be implemented using a pure functional style in which state is represented by tf.Tensors passed as arguments and returned as return values.

Contrast the two styles below:

state = tf.Variable(1)
@tf.function
def f(x):
f(tf.constant(2))  # Non-pure functional style
state
<tf.Variable ... numpy=3>
state = tf.constant(1)
@tf.function
def f(state, x):
state += x
return state
state = f(state, tf.constant(2))  # Pure functional style
state
<tf.Tensor: ... numpy=3>

## Python operations execute only once per trace

func may contain TensorFlow operations mixed with pure Python operations. However, when the function is executed, only the TensorFlow operations will run. The Python operations run only once, at trace time. If TensorFlow operations depend on results from Python operations, those results will be frozen into the graph.

@tf.function
def f(a, b):
print('this runs at trace time; a is', a, 'and b is', b)
return b
f(1, tf.constant(1))
this runs at trace time; a is 1 and b is Tensor("...", shape=(), dtype=int32)
<tf.Tensor: shape=(), dtype=int32, numpy=1>
f(1, tf.constant(2))
<tf.Tensor: shape=(), dtype=int32, numpy=2>
f(2, tf.constant(1))
this runs at trace time; a is 2 and b is Tensor("...", shape=(), dtype=int32)
<tf.Tensor: shape=(), dtype=int32, numpy=1>
f(2, tf.constant(2))
<tf.Tensor: shape=(), dtype=int32, numpy=2>

func The function to be compiled. If func is None, tf.function returns a decorator that can be invoked with a single argument - func. In other words, tf.function(input_signature=...)(func) is equivalent to tf.function(func, input_signature=...). The former can be used as decorator.
input_signature A possibly nested sequence of tf.TensorSpec objects specifying the shapes and dtypes of the Tensors that will be supplied to this function. If None, a separate function is instantiated for each inferred input signature. If input_signature is specified, every input to func must be a Tensor, and func cannot accept **kwargs.
autograph Whether autograph should be applied on func before tracing a graph. Data-dependent Python control flow statements require autograph=True. For more information, see the tf.function and AutoGraph guide.
jit_compile If True, compiles the function using XLA. XLA performs compiler optimizations, such as fusion, and attempts to emit more efficient code. This may drastically improve the performance. If set to True, the whole function needs to be compilable by XLA, or an errors.InvalidArgumentError is thrown. If None (default), compiles the function with XLA when running on TPU and goes through the regular function execution path when running on other devices. If False, executes the function without XLA compilation. Set this value to False when directly running a multi-device function on TPUs (e.g. two TPU cores, one TPU core and its host CPU). Not all functions are compilable, see a list of sharp corners.
reduce_retracing When True, tf.function attempts to reduce the amount of retracing, for example by using more generic shapes. This can be controlled for user objects by customizing their associated tf.types.experimental.TraceType.
experimental_implements If provided, contains a name of a "known" function this implements. For example "mycompany.my_recurrent_cell". This is stored as an attribute in inference function, which can then be detected when processing serialized function. See standardizing composite ops
for details. For an example of utilizing this attribute see this example The code above automatically detects and substitutes function that implements "embedded_matmul" and allows TFLite to substitute its own implementations. For instance, a tensorflow user can use this attribute to mark that their function also implements embedded_matmul (perhaps more efficiently!) by specifying it using this parameter: @tf.function(experimental_implements="embedded_matmul") This can either be specified as just the string name of the function or a NameAttrList corresponding to a list of key-value attributes associated with the function name. The name of the function will be in the 'name' field of the NameAttrList. To define a formal TF op for this function implements, try the experimental composite TF project.
experimental_autograph_options Optional tuple of tf.autograph.experimental.Feature values.
experimental_attributes Optional dictionary of attributes to include in the generated FunctionDefs.