TensorFlow: v2.9.0-rc1 Release

Release date:
May 4, 2022
Previous version:
v2.9.0-rc0 (released November 15, 2022)
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Release Notes Published

Release 2.9.0

Breaking Changes

  • Due to security issues in TF 2.8, all boosted trees code has now been removed (after being deprecated in TF 2.8). Users should switch to TensorFlow Decision Forests.
  • Build, Compilation and Packaging
    • TensorFlow is now compiled with _GLIBCXX_USE_CXX11_ABI=1. Downstream projects that encounter std::__cxx11 or [abi:cxx11] linker errors will need to adopt this compiler option. See the GNU C++ Library docs on Dual ABI.
    • TensorFlow Python wheels now specifically conform to manylinux2014, an upgrade from manylinux2010. The minimum Pip version supporting manylinux2014 is Pip 19.3 (see pypa/manylinux. This change may affect you if you have been using TensorFlow on a very old platform equivalent to CentOS 6, as manylinux2014 targets CentOS 7 as a compatibility base. Note that TensorFlow does not officially support either platform.
    • Discussion for these changes can be found on SIG Build's TensorFlow Community Forum thread
  • The tf.keras.mixed_precision.experimental API has been removed. The non-experimental symbols under tf.keras.mixed_precision have been available since TensorFlow 2.4 and should be used instead.
    • The non-experimental API has some minor differences from the experimental API. In most cases, you only need to make three minor changes:
      • Remove the word "experimental" from tf.keras.mixed_precision symbols. E.g., replace tf.keras.mixed_precision.experimental.global_policy with tf.keras.mixed_precision.global_policy.
      • Replace tf.keras.mixed_precision.experimental.set_policy with tf.keras.mixed_precision.set_global_policy. The experimental symbol set_policy was renamed to set_global_policy in the non-experimental API.
      • Replace LossScaleOptimizer(opt, "dynamic") with LossScaleOptimizer(opt). If you pass anything other than "dynamic" to the second argument, see (1) of the next section.
    • In the following rare cases, you need to make more changes when switching to the non-experimental API:
      • If you passed anything other than "dynamic" to the loss_scale argument (the second argument) of LossScaleOptimizer:
      • If you passed a value to the loss_scale argument (the second argument) of Policy:
        • The experimental version of Policy optionally took in a tf.compat.v1.mixed_precision.LossScale in the constructor, which defaulted to a dynamic loss scale for the "mixed_float16" policy and no loss scale for other policies. In Model.compile, if the model's policy had a loss scale, the optimizer would be wrapped with a LossScaleOptimizer. With the non-experimental Policy, there is no loss scale associated with the Policy, and Model.compile wraps the optimizer with a LossScaleOptimizer if and only if the policy is a "mixed_float16" policy. If you previously passed a LossScale to the experimental Policy, consider just removing it, as the default loss scaling behavior is usually what you want. If you really want to customize the loss scaling behavior, you can wrap your optimizer with a LossScaleOptimizer before passing it to Model.compile.
      • If you use the very rarely-used function tf.keras.mixed_precision.experimental.get_layer_policy:
        • Replace tf.keras.mixed_precision.experimental.get_layer_policy(layer) with layer.dtype_policy.
  • tf.mixed_precision.experimental.LossScale and its subclasses have been removed from the TF2 namespace. This symbols were very rarely used and were only useful in TF2 for use in the now-removed tf.keras.mixed_precision.experimental API. The symbols are still available under tf.compat.v1.mixed_precision.
  • The experimental_relax_shapes heuristic for tf.function has been deprecated and replaced with reduce_retracing which encompasses broader heuristics to reduce the number of retraces (see below)

Major Features and Improvements

  • tf.keras:

    • Added tf.keras.applications.resnet_rs models. This includes the ResNetRS50, ResNetRS101, ResNetRS152, ResNetRS200, ResNetRS270, ResNetRS350 and ResNetRS420 model architectures. The ResNetRS models are based on the architecture described in Revisiting ResNets: Improved Training and Scaling Strategies
    • Added tf.keras.optimizers.experimental.Optimizer. The reworked optimizer gives more control over different phases of optimizer calls, and is easier to customize. We provide Adam, SGD, Adadelta, AdaGrad and RMSprop optimizers based on tf.keras.optimizers.experimental.Optimizer. Generally the new optimizers work in the same way as the old ones, but support new constructor arguments. In the future, the symbols tf.keras.optimizers.Optimizer/Adam/etc will point to the new optimizers, and the previous generation of optimizers will be moved to tf.keras.optimizers.legacy.Optimizer/Adam/etc.
    • Added L2 unit normalization layer tf.keras.layers.UnitNormalization.
    • Added tf.keras.regularizers.OrthogonalRegularizer, a new regularizer that encourages orthogonality between the rows (or columns) or a weight matrix.
    • Added tf.keras.layers.RandomBrightness layer for image preprocessing.
    • Added APIs for switching between interactive logging and absl logging. By default, Keras always writes the logs to stdout. However, this is not optimal in a non-interactive environment, where you don't have access to stdout, but can only view the logs. You can use tf.keras.utils.disable_interactive_logging() to write the logs to ABSL logging. You can also use tf.keras.utils.enable_interactive_logging() to change it back to stdout, or tf.keras.utils.is_interactive_logging_enabled() to check if interactive logging is enabled.
    • Changed default value for the verbose argument of Model.evaluate() and Model.predict() to "auto", which defaults to verbose=1 for most cases and defaults to verbose=2 when used with ParameterServerStrategy or with interactive logging disabled.
    • Argument jit_compile in Model.compile() now applies to Model.evaluate() and Model.predict(). Setting jit_compile=True in compile() compiles the model's training, evaluation, and inference steps to XLA. Note that jit_compile=True may not necessarily work for all models.
    • Added DTensor-related Keras APIs under tf.keras.dtensor namespace. The APIs are still classified as experimental. You are welcome to try it out. Please check the tutoral and guide on https://www.tensorflow.org/ for more details about DTensor.
  • tf.lite:

    • Added TFLite builtin op support for the following TF ops:
      • tf.math.argmin/tf.math.argmax for input data type tf.bool on CPU.
      • tf.nn.gelu op for output data type tf.float32 and quantization on CPU.
    • Add nominal support for unsigned 16-bit integer tensor types. Note that very few TFLite kernels support this type natively, so its use in mobile ML authoring is generally discouraged.
    • Add support for unsigned 16-bit integer tensor types in cast op.
    • Experimental support for lowering list_ops.tensor_list_set_item with DynamicUpdateSlice.
    • Enabled a new MLIR-based dynamic range quantization backend by default
      • The new backend is used for post-training int8 dynamic range quantization and post-training float16 quantization.
      • Set experimental_new_dynamic_range_quantizer in tf.lite.TFLiteConverter to False to disable this change
    • Native TF Lite variables are now enabled during conversion by default on all v2 TfLiteConverter entry points. experimental_enable_resource_variables on tf.lite.TFLiteConverter is now True by default and will be removed in the future.
  • tf.function:

    • Custom classes used as arguments for tf.function can now specify rules regarding when retracing needs to occur by implementing the Tracing Protocol available through tf.types.experimental.SupportsTracingProtocol.
    • TypeSpec classes (as associated with ExtensionTypes) also implement the Tracing Protocol which can be overriden if necessary.
    • The newly introduced reduce_retracing option also uses the Tracing Protocol to proactively generate generalized traces similar to experimental_relax_shapes (which has now been deprecated).
  • Unified eager and tf.function execution:

    • Eager mode can now execute each op as a tf.function, allowing for more consistent feature support in future releases.
    • It is available for immediate use.
      • See the TF_RUN_EAGER_OP_AS_FUNCTION environment variable in eager context.
      • Eager performance should be similar with this feature enabled.
        • A roughly 5us per-op overhead may be observed when running many small functions.
        • Note a known issue with GPU performance.
      • The behavior of tf.function itself is unaffected.
    • Note: This feature will be enabled by default in an upcoming version of TensorFlow.
  • tf.experimental.dtensor: Added DTensor, an extension to TensorFlow for large-scale modeling with minimal changes to user code. You are welcome to try it out, though be aware that the DTensor API is experimental and up-to backward-incompatible changes. DTensor and Keras integration is published under tf.keras.dtensor in this release (refer to the tf.keras entry). The tutoral and guide for DTensor will be published on https://www.tensorflow.org/. Please stay tuned.

Bug Fixes and Other Changes

  • tf.data:

    • Fixed bug in tf.data.experimental.parse_example_dataset when tf.io.RaggedFeatures would specify value_key but no partitions. Before the fix, setting value_key but no partitions would result in the feature key being replaced by the value key, e.g. {'value_key': <RaggedTensor>} instead of {'key': <RaggedTensor>}. Now the correct feature key will be used. This aligns the behavior of tf.data.experimental.parse_example_dataset to match the behavior of tf.io.parse_example.
    • Added a new field, filter_parallelization, to tf.data.experimental.OptimizationOptions. If it is set to True, tf.data will run Filter transformation with multiple threads. Its default value is False if not specified.
  • tf.keras:

    • Fixed bug in optimizers that prevented them from properly checkpointing slot variables when they are ShardedVariables (used for training with tf.distribute.experimental.ParameterServerStrategy).
  • tf.random:

    • Added tf.random.experimental.index_shuffle, for shuffling a sequence without materializing the sequence in memory.
  • tf.RaggedTensor:

    • Introduced tf.experimental.RowPartition, which encodes how one dimension in a RaggedTensor relates to another, into the public API.
    • Introduced tf.experimental.DynamicRaggedShape, which represents the shape of a RaggedTensor.

Thanks to our Contributors

This release contains contributions from many people at Google, as well as:

Aaron Debattista, Abel Soares Siqueira, Abhishek Varma, Andrei Ivanov, andreii, Andrew Goodbody, apeltop, Arnab Dutta, Ashiq Imran, Banikumar Maiti (Intel Aipg), Ben Greiner, Benjamin Peterson, bhack, Christopher Bate, chunduriv, Copybara-Service, DEKHTIARJonathan, Deven Desai, Duncan Riach, Eric Kunze, Everton Constantino, Faruk D, Fredrik Knutsson, gadagashwini, Gauri1 Deshpande, gtiHibGele, Guozhong Zhuang, Islem-Esi, Ivanov Viktor, Jason Furmanek, Jason Zaman, Jim, Jinzhe Zeng, John Laxson, Jonas Eschle, Jonas Eschle 'Mayou36, Jonathan Dekhtiar, Kaixi Hou, Kanvi Khanna, KaurkerDevourer, Koan-Sin Tan, kushanam, Laramie Leavitt, Li-Wen Chang, lipracer, Louis Sugy, Lu Teng, Mahmoud Abuzaina, Malcolm Slaney, Malik Shahzad Muzaffar, Marek Ε uppa, Matt Conley, Michael Melesse, Milos Puzovic, mohantym, Nathan John Sircombe, Nathan Luehr, Nilesh Agarwalla, Patrice Vignola, peterjc123, Philip Turner, Rajeshwar Reddy T, Robert Kalmar, Rodrigo Formigone, Rohit Santhanam, rui, Sachin Muradi, Saduf2019, sandip, Scott Leishman, Serge Panev, Shi,Guangyong, Srinivasan Narayanamoorthy, stanley, Steven I Reeves, stevenireeves, sushreebarsa, Tamas Bela Feher, Tao He, Thomas Schmeyer, Tiago Almeida, Trevor Morris, Uday Bondhugula, Uwe L. Korn, Varghese, Jojimon, Vishnuvardhan Janapati, William Muir, William Raveane, xutianming, Yasuhiro Matsumoto, Yimei Sun, Yong Tang, Yu Feng, Yuriy Chernyshov, zhaozheng09