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A tensorflowjs Graph Model Converter

Project description

TensorFlow.js Graph Model Converter

TFJS Graph Converter Logo

The purpose of this library is to import TFJS graph models into Tensorflow. This allows you to use TensorFlow.js models with Python in case you don't have access to the original formats or the models have been created in TFJS.


I'm neither a Python developer, nor do I know TensorFlow or TensorFlow.js. I created this package solely because I ran into an issue when trying to convert a pretrained TensorFlow.js model into a different format. I didn't have access to the pretrained original TF model and didn't have the resources to train it myself. I soon learned that I'm not alone with this issue so I sat down and wrote this little library.

If you find any part of the code to be non-idiomatic or know of a simpler way to achieve certain things, feel free to let me know, since I'm a beginner in both Python and especially TensorFlow (used it for the very first time in this very project).


  • tensorflow 2.1+
  • tensorflowjs 1.5.2+


The converter has been tested with tensorflowjs v3.13.0, tensorflow v2.8.0 and Python 3.9.10.


pip install tfjs-graph-converter


After the installation, you can run the packaged tfjs_graph_converter binary for quick and easy model conversion.

Positional Arguments

Positional Argument Description
input_path Path to the TFJS Graph Model directory containing the model.json
output_path For output format "tf_saved_model", a SavedModel target directory. For output format "tf_frozen_model", a frozen model file.


Option Description
-h, --help Show help message and exit
--output_format Use tf_frozen_model (the default) to save a Tensorflow frozen model. tf_saved_model exports to a Tensorflow SavedModel instead.
--saved_model_tags Specifies the tags of the MetaGraphDef to save, in comma separated string format. Defaults to "serve". Applicable only if --output_format is tf_saved_model
-c, --compat_mode Sets a compatibility mode forthe coverted model (see below)
-v, --version Shows the version of the converter and its dependencies.
-s, --silent Suppresses any output besides error messages.

Compatibility Modes

Models are converted to optmimised native Tensorflow operators by default. This can cause problems if the converted model is subseuently converted to another format (ONNX, TFLite, older TFJS versions, etc.) The --compat_mode option can be used to avoid incompatible native operations such as fused convolutions. Available options are:

Mode Description
none Use all available optimisations and native TF operators
tfjs Harmonise input types for compatibility with older TFJS versions
tflite Only use TFLite builtins in the converted model

Advanced Options

These options are intended for advanced users who are familiar with the details of TensorFlow and TensorFlow Serving.

Option Description Example
--outputs Specifies the outputs of the MetaGraphDef to save, in comma separated string format. Applicable only if --output_format is tf_saved_model --outputs=Identity
--signature_key Specifies the key for the signature of the MetraGraphDef. Applicable only if --output_format is tf_saved_model. Requires --outputs to be set. --signature_key=serving_autoencode
--method_name Specifies the method name for the signature of the MetraGraphDef. Applicable only if --output_format is tf_saved_model. Requires --outputs to be set. --method_name=tensorflow/serving/classify
--rename Specifies a key mapping to change the keys of outputs and inputs in the signature. The format is comma-separated pairs of old name:new name. Applicable only if --output_format is tf_saved_model. Requires --outputs to be set. --rename Identity:scores,model/dense256/BiasAdd:confidence

Specifying --outputs can be useful for multi-head models to select the default output for the main signature. The CLI only handles the default signature of the model. Multiple signatures can be created using the API.

The method name must be handled with care, since setting the wrong value might prevent the signature from being valid for use with TensorFlow Serving. The option is available, because the converter only generates predict-signatures. In case the model is a regression model or a classifier with the matching outputs, the correct method name can be forced using the --method_name option.

Alternatively, you can create your own converter programs using the module's API. The API is required to accomplish more complicated tasks, like packaging multiple TensorFlow.js models into a single SavedModel.


To convert a TensorFlow.js graph model to a TensorFlow frozen model (i.e. the most common use case?), just specify the directory containing the model.json, followed by the path and file name of the frozen model like so:

tfjs_graph_converter path/to/js/model path/to/frozen/model.pb

Advanced Example

Converting to TF SavedMovel format adds a lot of options for tweaking model signatures. The following example converts a Posenet model, which is a multi-head model.

We want to select only two of the four possible outputs and rename them in the model's signature, as follows:

  • Input: input (from sub_2)
  • Outputs: offsets and heatmaps (from float_short_offsets and float_heatmaps)
tfjs_graph_converter \
    ~/models/posenet/model-stride16.json \
    ~/models/posenet_savedmodel \
    --output_format tf_saved_model \
    --outputs float_short_offsets,float_heatmaps \
    --rename float_short_offsets:offsets,float_heatmaps:heatmaps,sub_2:input

After the conversion, we can examine the output and verify the new model signature:

saved_model_cli show --dir ~/models/posenet_savedmodel --all

MetaGraphDef with tag-set: 'serve' contains the following SignatureDefs:

  The given SavedModel SignatureDef contains the following input(s):
    inputs['input'] tensor_info:
        dtype: DT_FLOAT
        shape: (1, -1, -1, 3)
        name: sub_2:0
  The given SavedModel SignatureDef contains the following output(s):
    outputs['heatmaps'] tensor_info:
        dtype: DT_FLOAT
        shape: (1, -1, -1, 17)
        name: float_heatmaps:0
    outputs['offsets'] tensor_info:
        dtype: DT_FLOAT
        shape: (1, -1, -1, 34)
        name: float_short_offsets:0
  Method name is: tensorflow/serving/predict

Usage from within Python

The package installs the module tfjs_graph_converter, which contains all the functionality used by the converter script. You can leverage the API to either load TensorFlow.js graph models directly for use with your TensorFlow program (e.g. for inference, fine-tuning, or extending), or use the advanced functionality to combine several TFJS models into a single SavedModel. The latter is only supported using the API (it's just a single function call, though, so don't panic 😉)

Important Note

By default, Python code that includes the library will see CUDA devices disabled (i.e. not visible in the program). This is done because the library uses some low-level APIs that don't allow disabling GPUs from Python code. Unfortunately some GPUs support CUDA but don't have the compute capabilities or VRAM required to convert certain models. For this reason, CUDA devices are disabled by default and the converter and scripts using it use CPUs only.

This behaviour can now be disabled by calling enable_cuda() before any Tensorflow or converter function is called. This will re-enable the use of CUDA-capable devices, but may result in errors during model loading/conversion depending on the installed GPU hardware.

API Documentation

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