/TensorFlow Python

Graph Editor (contrib)

TensorFlow Graph Editor.

The TensorFlow Graph Editor library allows for modification of an existing tf.Graph instance in-place.

The author's github username is purpledog.

Library overview

Appending new nodes is the only graph editing operation allowed by the TensorFlow core library. The Graph Editor library is an attempt to allow for other kinds of editing operations, namely, rerouting and transforming.

  • rerouting is a local operation consisting in re-plugging existing tensors (the edges of the graph). Operations (the nodes) are not modified by this operation. For example, rerouting can be used to insert an operation adding noise in place of an existing tensor.
  • transforming is a global operation consisting in transforming a graph into another. By default, a transformation is a simple copy but it can be customized to achieved other goals. For instance, a graph can be transformed into another one in which noise is added after all the operations of a specific type.

Important: modifying a graph in-place with the Graph Editor must be done offline, that is, without any active sessions.

Of course new operations can be appended online but Graph Editor specific operations like rerouting and transforming can currently only be done offline.

Here is an example of what you cannot do:

  • Build a graph.
  • Create a session and run the graph.
  • Modify the graph with the Graph Editor.
  • Re-run the graph with the same previously created session.

To edit an already running graph, follow these steps:

  • Build a graph.
  • Create a session and run the graph.
  • Save the graph state and terminate the session
  • Modify the graph with the Graph Editor.
  • create a new session and restore the graph state
  • Re-run the graph with the newly created session.

Note that this procedure is very costly because a new session must be created after any modifications. Among other things, it takes time because the entire graph state must be saved and restored again.


Most of the functions in the Graph Editor library operate on sub-graph. More precisely, they take as input arguments instances of the SubGraphView class (or anything which can be converted to it). Doing so allows the same function to transparently operate on single operations as well as sub-graph of any size.

A subgraph can be created in several ways:

  • using a list of ops:
my_sgv = ge.sgv(ops)
  • from a name scope:
my_sgv = ge.sgv_scope("foo/bar", graph=tf.get_default_graph())
  • using regular expression:
my_sgv = ge.sgv("foo/.*/.*read$", graph=tf.get_default_graph())

Note that the Graph Editor is meant to manipulate several graphs at the same time, typically during transform or copy operation. For that reason, to avoid any confusion, the default graph is never used and the graph on which to operate must always be given explicitly. This is the reason why graph=tf.get_default_graph() is used in the code snippets above.

Modules overview

  • util: utility functions.
  • select: various selection methods of TensorFlow tensors and operations.
  • match: TensorFlow graph matching. Think of this as regular expressions for graphs (but not quite yet).
  • reroute: various ways of rerouting tensors to different consuming ops like swap or reroute_a2b.
  • subgraph: the SubGraphView class, which enables subgraph manipulations in a TensorFlow tf.Graph.
  • edit: various editing functions operating on subgraphs like detach, connect or bypass.
  • transform: the Transformer class, which enables transforming (or simply copying) a subgraph into another one.

Module: util

Module: select

Module: subgraph

Module: reroute

Module: edit

Module: transform

Useful aliases

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Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0.
Code samples licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.