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Reduce TensorFlow Lite binary size

Overview

When deploying models for on-device machine learning (ODML) applications, it is important to be aware of the limited memory that is available on mobile devices. Model binary sizes are closely correlated to the number of ops used in the model. TensorFlow Lite enables you to reduce model binary sizes by using selective builds. Selective builds skip unused operations in your model set and produce a compact library with just the runtime and the op kernels required for the model to run on your mobile device.

Selective build applies on the following three operations libraries.

  1. TensorFlow Lite built-in ops library
  2. TensorFlow Lite custom ops
  3. Select TensorFlow ops library

The table below demonstrates the impact of selective builds for some common use cases:

Model Name Domain Target architecture AAR file size(s)
Mobilenet_1.0_224(float) Image classification armeabi-v7a tensorflow-lite.aar (296,635 bytes)
arm64-v8a tensorflow-lite.aar (382,892 bytes)
SPICE Sound pitch extraction armeabi-v7a tensorflow-lite.aar (375,813 bytes)
tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar (1,676,380 bytes)
arm64-v8a tensorflow-lite.aar (421,826 bytes)
tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar (2,298,630 bytes)
i3d-kinetics-400 Video classification armeabi-v7a tensorflow-lite.aar (240,085 bytes)
tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar (1,708,597 bytes)
arm64-v8a tensorflow-lite.aar (273,713 bytes)
tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar (2,339,697 bytes)

Selectively build TensorFlow Lite with Bazel

This section assumes that you have downloaded TensorFlow source codes and set up the local development environment to Bazel.

Build AAR files for Android project

You can build the custom TensorFlow Lite AARs by providing your model file paths as follows.

sh tensorflow/lite/tools/build_aar.sh \
  --input_models=/a/b/model_one.tflite,/c/d/model_two.tflite \
  --target_archs=x86,x86_64,arm64-v8a,armeabi-v7a

The above command will generate the AAR file bazel-bin/tmp/tensorflow-lite.aar for TensorFlow Lite built-in and custom ops; and optionally, generates the aar file bazel-bin/tmp/tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar if your models contain Select TensorFlow ops. Note that this builds a "fat" AAR with several different architectures; if you don't need all of them, use the subset appropriate for your deployment environment.

Build with custom ops

If you have developed Tensorflow Lite models with custom ops, you can build them by adding the following flags to the build command:

sh tensorflow/lite/tools/build_aar.sh \
  --input_models=/a/b/model_one.tflite,/c/d/model_two.tflite \
  --target_archs=x86,x86_64,arm64-v8a,armeabi-v7a \
  --tflite_custom_ops_srcs=/e/f/file1.cc,/g/h/file2.h \
  --tflite_custom_ops_deps=dep1,dep2

The tflite_custom_ops_srcs flag contains source files of your custom ops and the tflite_custom_ops_deps flag contains dependencies to build those source files. Note that these dependencies must exist in the TensorFlow repo.

Advanced Usages: Custom Bazel rules

If your project is using Bazel and you would like to define custom TFLite dependencies for a given set of models, you can define following rule(s) in your project repository:

For the models with the builtin ops only:

load(
    "@org_tensorflow//tensorflow/lite:build_def.bzl",
    "tflite_custom_android_library",
    "tflite_custom_c_library",
    "tflite_custom_cc_library",
)

# A selectively built TFLite Android library.
tflite_custom_android_library(
    name = "selectively_built_android_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

# A selectively built TFLite C library.
tflite_custom_c_library(
    name = "selectively_built_c_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

# A selectively built TFLite C++ library.
tflite_custom_cc_library(
    name = "selectively_built_cc_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

For the models with the Select TF ops:

load(
    "@org_tensorflow//tensorflow/lite/delegates/flex:build_def.bzl",
    "tflite_flex_android_library",
    "tflite_flex_cc_library",
)

# A Select TF ops enabled selectively built TFLite Android library.
tflite_flex_android_library(
    name = "selective_built_tflite_flex_android_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

# A Select TF ops enabled selectively built TFLite C++ library.
tflite_flex_cc_library(
    name = "selective_built_tflite_flex_cc_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

Advanced Usages: Build custom C/C++ shared libraries

If you would like to build your own custom TFLite C/C++ shared objects towards the given models, you can follow the below steps:

Create a temporary BUILD file by running the following command at the root directory of the TensorFlow source code:

mkdir -p tmp && touch tmp/BUILD

Building custom C shared objects

If you would like to build a custom TFLite C shared object, add the following to tmp/BUILD file:

load(
    "//tensorflow/lite:build_def.bzl",
    "tflite_custom_c_library",
    "tflite_cc_shared_object",
)

tflite_custom_c_library(
    name = "selectively_built_c_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

# Generates a platform-specific shared library containing the TensorFlow Lite C
# API implementation as define in `c_api.h`. The exact output library name
# is platform dependent:
#   - Linux/Android: `libtensorflowlite_c.so`
#   - Mac: `libtensorflowlite_c.dylib`
#   - Windows: `tensorflowlite_c.dll`
tflite_cc_shared_object(
    name = "tensorflowlite_c",
    linkopts = select({
        "//tensorflow:ios": [
            "-Wl,-exported_symbols_list,$(location //tensorflow/lite/c:exported_symbols.lds)",
        ],
        "//tensorflow:macos": [
            "-Wl,-exported_symbols_list,$(location //tensorflow/lite/c:exported_symbols.lds)",
        ],
        "//tensorflow:windows": [],
        "//conditions:default": [
            "-z defs",
            "-Wl,--version-script,$(location //tensorflow/lite/c:version_script.lds)",
        ],
    }),
    per_os_targets = True,
    deps = [
        ":selectively_built_c_lib",
        "//tensorflow/lite/c:exported_symbols.lds",
        "//tensorflow/lite/c:version_script.lds",
    ],
)

The newly added target can be built as follows:

bazel build -c opt --cxxopt=--std=c++14 \
  //tmp:tensorflowlite_c

and for Android (replace android_arm with android_arm64 for 64-bit):

bazel build -c opt --cxxopt=--std=c++14 --config=android_arm \
  //tmp:tensorflowlite_c

Building custom C++ shared objects

If you would like to build a custom TFLite C++ shared object, add the following to tmp/BUILD file:

load(
    "//tensorflow/lite:build_def.bzl",
    "tflite_custom_cc_library",
    "tflite_cc_shared_object",
)

tflite_custom_cc_library(
    name = "selectively_built_cc_lib",
    models = [
        ":model_one.tflite",
        ":model_two.tflite",
    ],
)

# Shared lib target for convenience, pulls in the core runtime and builtin ops.
# Note: This target is not yet finalized, and the exact set of exported (C/C++)
# APIs is subject to change. The output library name is platform dependent:
#   - Linux/Android: `libtensorflowlite.so`
#   - Mac: `libtensorflowlite.dylib`
#   - Windows: `tensorflowlite.dll`
tflite_cc_shared_object(
    name = "tensorflowlite",
    # Until we have more granular symbol export for the C++ API on Windows,
    # export all symbols.
    features = ["windows_export_all_symbols"],
    linkopts = select({
        "//tensorflow:macos": [
            "-Wl,-exported_symbols_list,$(location //tensorflow/lite:tflite_exported_symbols.lds)",
        ],
        "//tensorflow:windows": [],
        "//conditions:default": [
            "-Wl,-z,defs",
            "-Wl,--version-script,$(location //tensorflow/lite:tflite_version_script.lds)",
        ],
    }),
    per_os_targets = True,
    deps = [
        ":selectively_built_cc_lib",
        "//tensorflow/lite:tflite_exported_symbols.lds",
        "//tensorflow/lite:tflite_version_script.lds",
    ],
)

The newly added target can be built as follows:

bazel build -c opt  --cxxopt=--std=c++14 \
  //tmp:tensorflowlite

and for Android (replace android_arm with android_arm64 for 64-bit):

bazel build -c opt --cxxopt=--std=c++14 --config=android_arm \
  //tmp:tensorflowlite

For the models with the Select TF ops, you also need to build the following shared library as well:

load(
    "@org_tensorflow//tensorflow/lite/delegates/flex:build_def.bzl",
    "tflite_flex_shared_library"
)

# Shared lib target for convenience, pulls in the standard set of TensorFlow
# ops and kernels. The output library name is platform dependent:
#   - Linux/Android: `libtensorflowlite_flex.so`
#   - Mac: `libtensorflowlite_flex.dylib`
#   - Windows: `libtensorflowlite_flex.dll`
tflite_flex_shared_library(
  name = "tensorflowlite_flex",
  models = [
      ":model_one.tflite",
      ":model_two.tflite",
  ],
)

The newly added target can be built as follows:

bazel build -c opt --cxxopt='--std=c++14' \
      --config=monolithic \
      --host_crosstool_top=@bazel_tools//tools/cpp:toolchain \
      //tmp:tensorflowlite_flex

and for Android (replace android_arm with android_arm64 for 64-bit):

bazel build -c opt --cxxopt='--std=c++14' \
      --config=android_arm \
      --config=monolithic \
      --host_crosstool_top=@bazel_tools//tools/cpp:toolchain \
      //tmp:tensorflowlite_flex

Selectively Build TensorFlow Lite with Docker

This section assumes that you have installed Docker on your local machine and downloaded the TensorFlow Lite Dockerfile here.

After downloading the above Dockerfile, you can build the docker image by running:

docker build . -t tflite-builder -f tflite-android.Dockerfile

Build AAR files for Android project

Download the script for building with Docker by running:

curl -o build_aar_with_docker.sh \
  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/tensorflow/tensorflow/master/tensorflow/lite/tools/build_aar_with_docker.sh &&
chmod +x build_aar_with_docker.sh

Then, you can build the custom TensorFlow Lite AAR by providing your model file paths as follows.

sh build_aar_with_docker.sh \
  --input_models=/a/b/model_one.tflite,/c/d/model_two.tflite \
  --target_archs=x86,x86_64,arm64-v8a,armeabi-v7a \
  --checkpoint=master \
  [--cache_dir=<path to cache directory>]

The checkpoint flag is a commit, a branch or a tag of the TensorFlow repo that you want to checkout before building the libraries; by default it is the latest release branch. The above command will generate the AAR file tensorflow-lite.aar for TensorFlow Lite built-in and custom ops and optionally the AAR file tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar for Select TensorFlow ops in your current directory.

The --cache_dir specify the cache directory. If not provided, the script will create a directory named bazel-build-cache under current working directory for caching.

Add AAR files to project

Add AAR files by directly importing the AAR into your project, or by publishing the custom AAR to your local Maven repository. Note that you have to add the AAR files for tensorflow-lite-select-tf-ops.aar as well if you generate it.

Selective Build for iOS

Please see the Building locally section to set up the build environment and configure TensorFlow workspace and then follow the guide to use the selective build script for iOS.