TensorFlow 2 Workflow#

To convert a TensorFlow 2 model, provide one of following formats to the converter:

This page demonstrates the following typical workflows:

Convert a Pre-trained Model#

The following example demonstrates how to convert an Xception model in HDF5 format (a .h5 file) from tf.keras.applications:

import coremltools as ct 
import tensorflow as tf

# Load from .h5 file
tf_model = tf.keras.applications.Xception(weights="imagenet", 
                                          input_shape=(299, 299, 3))

# Convert to Core ML
model = ct.convert(tf_model)

The following is another example of converting a pre-trained model. This model is downloaded from TensorFlow Hub. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the MobileNet SavedModel directory from imagenet in TensorFlow Hub.

# Tested with TensorFlow 2.6.2
import tensorflow as tf
import tensorflow_hub as tf_hub
import numpy as np

model = tf.keras.Sequential([
        tf.keras.layers.InputLayer(input_shape=(192, 192, 3)),

model.build([1, 192, 192, 3])  # Batch input shape.
  1. Load the model as a Keras model, and ensure that it is loaded correctly by applying a prediction call.

# random input data to check that predict works
x = np.random.rand(1, 192, 192, 3)
tf_out = model.predict([x])
  1. Convert the model to an ML program without specifying the input type, in order to generate a multidimensional array (MLMultiArray) input for convenience in checking predictions:

import coremltools as ct

# convert to Core ML and check predictions
mlmodel = ct.convert(model, convert_to="mlprogram")
  1. Since the model operates on images, convert with the image input type before saving the model as a Core ML model package:

coreml_out_dict = mlmodel.predict({"image":x})
coreml_out = list(coreml_out_dict.values())[0]
np.testing.assert_allclose(tf_out, coreml_out, rtol=1e-2, atol=1e-1)

# convert to an image input Core ML model
# mobilenet model expects images to be normalized in the interval [-1,1]
# hence bias of -1 and scale of 1/127
mlmodel = ct.convert(model, convert_to="mlprogram",
                    inputs=[ct.ImageType(bias=[-1,-1,-1], scale=1/127)])


Convert a User-defined Model#

The most convenient way to define a model is to use the tf.keras APIs. You can define your model using sequential, functional or subclassing APIs, and then convert directly to Core ML.

Alternatively, you can first save the Keras model to the HDF5 (.h5) or the SavedModel file format, and then provide the file path with the convert() method. For details about saving the model, see Save and load Keras models.

Convert a Sequential Model#

The following example defines and converts a Sequential tf.keras model to an ML program:

# Tested with TensorFlow 2.6.2
import tensorflow as tf
import coremltools as ct

tf_keras_model = tf.keras.Sequential(
        tf.keras.layers.Flatten(input_shape=(28, 28)),
        tf.keras.layers.Dense(128, activation=tf.nn.relu),
        tf.keras.layers.Dense(10, activation=tf.nn.softmax),

# Pass in `tf.keras.Model` to the Unified Conversion API
mlmodel = ct.convert(tf_keras_model, convert_to="mlprogram")

# or save the keras model in SavedModel directory format and then convert
mlmodel = ct.convert('tf_keras_model', convert_to="mlprogram")

# or load the model from a SavedModel and then convert
tf_keras_model = tf.keras.models.load_model('tf_keras_model')
mlmodel = ct.convert(tf_keras_model, convert_to="mlprogram")

# or save the keras model in HDF5 format and then convert
mlmodel = ct.convert('tf_keras_model.h5', convert_to="mlprogram")

Convert a Keras Model With Subclassing#

The following example defines and converts a Keras model with subclassing and a custom Keras layer, using a low-level TensorFlow API. The custom layer example of the functional Keras API can be converted to an ML program or a neural network by passing the final model object to the converter. The following example converts the model to an ML program:

# Tested with TensorFlow 2.6.2
import coremltools as ct
import tensorflow as tf
from tensorflow import keras
from tensorflow.keras import layers

class CustomDense(layers.Layer):
    def __init__(self, units=32):
        super(CustomDense, self).__init__()
        self.units = units

    def build(self, input_shape):
        self.w = self.add_weight(
            shape=(input_shape[-1], self.units),
        self.b = self.add_weight(
            shape=(self.units,), initializer="random_normal", trainable=True

    def call(self, inputs):
        return tf.matmul(inputs, self.w) + self.b

inputs = keras.Input((4,))
outputs = CustomDense(10)(inputs)
model = keras.Model(inputs, outputs)

mlmodel = ct.convert(model, convert_to="mlprogram")

Convert a TensorFlow Concrete Function#

The following example converts a TensorFlow concrete function to an ML program:

# Tested with TensorFlow 2.6.2
import coremltools as ct
import tensorflow as tf
import numpy as np

# define a concrete TF function for approximate version of GeLU activation
@tf.function(input_signature=[tf.TensorSpec(shape=(6,), dtype=tf.float32)])
def gelu_tanh_activation(x):
	a = (np.sqrt(2 / np.pi) * (x + 0.044715 * tf.pow(x, 3)))
	y = 0.5 * (1.0 + tf.tanh(a))
	return x * y

conc_func = gelu_tanh_activation.get_concrete_function()

# provide the concrete function as a list
mlmodel = ct.convert([conc_func], convert_to="mlprogram")

Converting a BERT Transformer Model

To learn how to convert an object of the tf.keras.Model class, and a SavedModel in the TensorFlow 2 format, see Converting TensorFlow 2 BERT Transformer Models.