Saving and Loading Models

You may wish to save models so that they can be loaded and run in a later session. Flux provides a number of ways to do this. The recommended way, which is the most robust one for long term storage, is to use Flux.state in combination with a serialization format like JLD2.jl or BSON.jl.

Save a model:

julia> using Flux

julia> struct MyModel

julia> Flux.@layer MyModel

julia> MyModel() = MyModel(Chain(Dense(10, 5, relu), Dense(5, 2)));

julia> model = MyModel()
MyModel(Chain(Dense(10 => 5, relu), Dense(5 => 2)))  # 67 parameters

julia> model_state = Flux.state(model);

julia> using JLD2

julia> jldsave("mymodel.jld2"; model_state)

Load it again in a new session using Flux.loadmodel!:

julia> using Flux, JLD2

julia> model_state = JLD2.load("mymodel.jld2", "model_state");

julia> model = MyModel(); # MyModel definition must be available

julia> Flux.loadmodel!(model, model_state);

If a saved model's parameters are stored on the GPU, the model will not load later on if there is no GPU support available. It's best to move your model to the CPU with cpu(model) before saving it.


In longer training runs it's a good idea to periodically save your model, so that you can resume if training is interrupted (for example, if there's a power cut).

julia> using Flux: throttle

julia> using JLD2

julia> m = Chain(Dense(10 => 5, relu), Dense(5 => 2))
  Dense(10 => 5, relu),                 # 55 parameters
  Dense(5 => 2),                        # 12 parameters
)                   # Total: 4 arrays, 67 parameters, 524 bytes.

julia> for epoch in 1:10
          # ... train model ...
          jldsave("model-checkpoint.jld2", model_state = Flux.state(m))

This will update the "model-checkpoint.jld2" every epoch.

You can get more advanced by saving a series of models throughout training, for example

jldsave("model-$(now()).jld2", model_state = Flux.state(m))

will produce a series of models like "model-2018-03-06T02:57:10.41.jld2". You could also store the current test set loss, so that it's easy to (for example) revert to an older copy of the model if it starts to overfit.

jldsave("model-$(now()).jld2", model_state = Flux.state(m), loss = testloss())

Note that to resume a model's training, you might need to restore other stateful parts of your training loop. Possible examples are the optimiser state and the randomness used to partition the original data into the training and validation sets.

You can store the optimiser state alongside the model, to resume training exactly where you left off:

model = MyModel()
opt_state = Flux.setup(AdamW(), model)

# ... train model ...

model_state = Flux.state(model)
jldsave("checkpoint_epoch=42.jld2"; model_state, opt_state)

Saving Models as Julia Structs

Models are just normal Julia structs, so it's fine to use any Julia storage format to save the struct as it is instead of saving the state returned by Flux.state. BSON.jl is particularly convenient for this, since it can also save anynomous functions, which are sometimes part of a model definition.

Save a model:

julia> using Flux

julia> model = Chain(Dense(10, 5, NNlib.relu), Dense(5, 2));

julia> using BSON: @save

julia> @save "mymodel.bson" model

Load it again in a new session:

julia> using Flux, BSON

julia> BSON.@load "mymodel.bson" model

julia> model
  Dense(10 => 5, relu),                 # 55 parameters
  Dense(5 => 2),                        # 12 parameters
)                   # Total: 4 arrays, 67 parameters, 524 bytes.

Saving models this way could lead to compatibility issues across julia versions and across Flux versions if some of the Flux layers' internals are changed. It is therefore not recommended for long term storage, use Flux.state instead.


Previous versions of Flux suggested saving only the model weights using @save "mymodel.bson" params(model). This is no longer recommended and even strongly discouraged. Saving models this way will only store the trainable parameters which will result in incorrect behavior for layers like BatchNorm.