What Is TensorFlow? Definition, Working, and Importance


What is TensorFlow?

TensorFlow is an open-source platform for machine learning that includes tools and libraries based on Java and Python that are created with the objective of training machine learning models and deep learning models on data.

TensorFlow by Google is an open-source package designed for applications that use deep learning. It also supports traditional machine learning. TensorFlow was originally created without deep learning for large numbers. It has been valuable in deep learning development and it was made available by Google.

TensorFlow can support data in the form of tensors. These are multidimensional arrays with greater dimensions. Managing large volumes of data is easy with arrays that have multiple dimensions.

TensorFlow uses the concept graphs of data flow that include nodes and edges. Spreading TensorFlow code across a cluster of GPU-equipped machines becomes easier because the implementation method is in graphs and tables.

TensorFlow can support other programming languages but Python, JavaScript, and JavaScript remain the most popular. TensorFlow also supports Swift, C#, and Java. TensorFlow does not require Python to be used. However, TensorFlow is extremely easy to use.

Evolution of TensorFlow

TensorFlow is following in the footsteps of Google’s closed-source DistBelief framework which was internally deployed in 2012. It was built on large neural networks and the backpropagation technique and used to perform unsupervised feature and deep learning applications.

TensorFlow differs from DistBelief on many levels. TensorFlow is meant to be independent of Google’s computational infrastructure. This makes its code more portable and usable for external use. It also has a more general machine learning architecture, which is less neural network-centric than disbelief.

Google published TensorFlow as an open-source technology in 2015. Under the Apache 2.0 license, The framework has been supported by many people outside of Google since then. TensorFlow tools can be added to IBM and Microsoft’s machine learning and AI development suites.

TensorFlow reached Release 1.0.0 in 2017 Four more albums were released by developers in 2017. Developer previews were also available for TensorFlow, which is optimized for smartphones and embedded machines.

TensorFlow 2.0 was launched in October 2019. It has been redesigned the framework in several ways to be more user-friendly and efficient. The new application programming interface (API), which is available with TensorFlow Lite support, facilitates distributed training. This allows models to be deployed on a wider range of systems. To use TensorFlow 2.0, it is necessary to modify the code that was used in older TensorFlow versions.

Also read: What is a Programming Library: A Complete Guide?

What is TensorFlow Lite?

TensorFlow models that have been trained on smartphones or edge devices, such as iOS and Android, can also be deployed. TensorFlowLite lets you compromise model performance and accuracy in order to optimize TensorFlow structures to maximize performance on such devices. Although a smaller model (12MB against 25MB or 100+MB) can be more precise, the difference in precision is usually negligible. The speed and energy efficiency of the version makes up for this.

How is TensorFlow used?

TensorFlow applications can be complex, large-scale AI projects that combine deep learning and machine learning. TensorFlow has been used to power Google’s RankBrain machine learning system. This has greatly improved the data-gathering capabilities of the company’s search engine.

Google has also utilized the platform for applications such as creating automated email answers, picture categorization, and optical character recognition. A Stanford University-developed drug-discovery program developed in collaboration with Stanford University academics.

Apart from Airbnb, Coca-Cola, eBay, Intel, Qualcomm, SAP, Twitter, and the TensorFlow website that lists Snap Inc, Intel, and Qualcomm as framework users. STATS LLC is a sports consulting firm that uses TensorFlow deep learning frameworks to track player movements during professional sporting events.

Tensorflow: How it Works

TensorFlow allows developers to create dataflow graphs. These structures define how data flows through a graph or set of processing nodes. Each node represents a mathematical process. Every edge between nodes is called a Tensor, which is a multi-layered data array.

TensorFlow apps can be executed on any handy target: including a local PC, cloud clusters, iOS, and Android phones as well as CPUs and GPUs.Using Google’s cloud, You may use TensorFlow with Google’s unique TensorFlow Processing Units (TPUs) hardware for additional acceleration. TensorFlow models can be installed on any machine that will use them to make predictions.

Tensorflow’s architecture is made up of three parts:

  • Processing data in advance
  • The creation of the model
  • Developing and evaluating the model

Tensorflow’s name is derived from the fact that it can accept inputs in multidimensional arrays. These are commonly known as tensors. You can create a flowchart-like diagram using a technique called graph analysis to represent the actions you want. The input comes in at one end and is processed through a series of actions before it exits as output. TensorFlow is its name because it accepts input from a tensor and then travels through several processes before finally exiting.

A trained model can offer prediction using REST and gRPC APIs within a Docker container. Kubernetes can be used for more complicated serving situations.

TensorFlow uses the following components in order to achieve the features described above:

1. Graphs

TensorFlow uses a graph-based architecture. The graph summarizes all series of calculations made during training and provides explanations. This graph has many benefits. The graph was originally designed to work on multiple CPUs, GPUs, and mobile operating systems. You can also save calculations to the graph for future or current use. The graph can be saved for future execution.

All calculations in this chart are made by linking tensors. A tensor is composed of both a node and an edge. The node performs mathematical actions and generates output endpoints. The edges represent the connections between nodes.

2. Tensors

Tensorflow is named after its fundamental foundation, Tensor. Tensorflow uses tensors for all calculations. Tensors can be described as n-dimensional vectors and matrices that are used to represent all data types. A tensor contains the same data type as each value, and it has a known or partially known form. The data’s form is determined by the dimension of the arrays or matrices.

Raw data or the result of a calculation can be used to derive tensors. TensorFlow executes all operations within a graph. A grid is a series of calculations that are performed in an ordered fashion. Each operation is called an op node and is therefore interconnected.

The graph shows the operations and relationships among the nodes. The values are not displayed. The tensor is the border between the nodes that is a way to provide data for the operation.

3. Flows

TensorFlow can accept input in the form of tensors. These are n-dimensional arrays and matrices. Before being output, this input goes through several steps. As an example, as input, we get a lot of numbers that indicate the Bits of an Image, and as output, we receive a text like “this is a dog.”

4. TensorBoard

Tensorflow allows you to see what’s happening on your graph. TensorBoard is the name of this tool. It is a web page that allows users to inspect their graph and check its connections. You must label your graphs with the parameters that you wish to analyze, such as the loss. Each summary must be produced.

The following are essential components of TensorFlow’s functionality:

  • Variables: A variable is a tensor in which the application of operations can alter the value.
  • Nodes: Each node in a network represents a particular mathematical operation such as addition, division, or multiplication.
  • Sessions: This session allows the execution of graphs and graph segments. It preserves the true values of intermediate outcomes, and variables, and allocates resources.
  • Placeholders: This transfers information between your TensorFlow graph and your application.

How does TensorFlow work with Javascript?

Python is now the most popular programming language for TensorFlow and machine learning. JavaScript, however, is now the best-in-class programming language for TensorFlow. It works in every web browser.

TensorFlow.js is the JavaScript TensorFlow Library name. It speeds up calculations by using all available GPUs. A WebAssembly background application can also be used for execution. This is faster than the standard JavaScript backend and is much more efficient on a CPU. You can start with simple tasks to learn how things work using pre-built models.

Also read: Top 10 Java Monitoring Tools

How does TensorFlow work with Python?

TensorFlow provides all this functionality to programmers via the Python programming language. Python is easy to use and provides simple methods for representing the coupling between high-level abstractions. TensorFlow works with Python 3.7 to 3.10.

TensorFlow nodes, tensors, and tensors can be considered Python objects. TensorFlow programs are therefore Python programs. Python does not allow for real mathematical calculations. TensorFlow’s transformation libraries are C++ binaries. Python controls the information flow between components and provides high-level coding frameworks for connecting them.

Keras can be used to perform complex TensorFlow tasks such as linking layers or constructing vertices. A 3-layer fundamental model can be created with less than 10 lines of code. Training data for the model requires only a few more lines.

However, you can “peek under the hood” to perform more complex tasks such as creating an individual training circuit.

Importance of TensorFlow

TensorFlow is an important feature for users because of several reasons.

1. Provides abstraction through a ready library

TensorFlow’s most important advantage for machine learning development is its ability to abstract (an essential concept in object-oriented programming). The programmer can focus on the overall application logic instead of worrying about developing algorithms or linking one component’s output with another’s parameters. TensorFlow handles the details in the background.

2. Free graph visualization

TensorBoard’s visualization package allows you to analyze and examine the execution of graphs using a web-based interactive interface. TensorFlow-based machine learning experiments can be shared and hosted by Google’s Tensorboard.dev. You can keep a maximum of 100 million scalars and a gigabyte tensor data as well as a gigabyte binary layer free of charge. Tensorboard.dev data is available to the public.

3. Enables greater developer control

TensorFlow offers additional benefits for programmers that need to debug TensorFlow applications and gain insight. Instead of the entire graph being constructed as an opaque monolithic object, each graph action can be evaluated and updated separately and openly. This “eager execution mode”, which was an option in earlier TensorFlow versions, has been defaulting.

4. Makes Google’s innovations accessible to all

TensorFlow also enjoys the support of Google as an A-list business enterprise. TensorFlow’s development was accelerated by Google. Google also provided essential products that made TensorFlow easier to use and install. One example is TPU silicon to increase performance in Google’s cloud.

6. Promotes artificial intelligence (AI) development

Artificial intelligence simulates learning and problem-solving, two cognitive activities that are associated with the human brain. TensorFlow provides a flexible and robust ecosystem of resources, libraries, tools, and tools that allows for the development and deployment of AI-powered applications. AI’s advancements offer new opportunities to tackle complex real-world problems.

TensorFlow can be used to create deep neural pathways that allow handwritten character recognition classification, Image recognition, word embedding and recurrent neural network, frame-to-frame modeling for translation software, natural speech processing, and a range of other applications.

7. Compatible with graphical processing units, (GPU).

Deep learning applications are complicated and require a lot of computation. Because of the large amount of data, it requires many iterative processes, mathematical computations, and matrix multiplication and division. These tasks take a lot of CPU time. TensorFlow supports GPUs which greatly speeds up the training process.

8. Leverages parallelism to reduce memory use

TensorFlow can be used as a hardware acceleration library because of its parallelism of the work model. It uses unique distribution algorithms that work on both CPU and GPU platforms. Users can execute their code on either of these architectures based on the modeling rule. If there is no specification, the system will select a GPU. This reduces memory allocation to a certain degree

Also read: Top 10 Node.js Frameworks for 2022.

Applications of TensorFlow

TensorFlow’s true value is its ability to be used across multiple sectors. Its most important uses include:

  • Customization for e-Learning: An online education platform may use TensorFlow to customize the curriculum for each student. It can also be used to grade students and assess tests.
  • Data analysis for better social media experiences: TensorFlow allows social media networks to score posts based on their relevance to someone and then present them in a suitable way in their feed. Using computer vision, Image storage software can automatically recognize individuals and objects in photos and group them together or allow for sophisticated searches.
  • AI imaging in healthcare: TensorFlow is an AI imaging tool that uses TensorFlow. The healthcare sector can improve the accuracy and precision of medical imaging interpretation.

Web content organization by search engines: Search engines may use TensorFlow’s pattern identification features to find duplicate or spam material.

TensorFlow framework is essential for two roles: data scientists and software engineers.

TensorFlow offers many options for data scientists to develop models. This means that any tool can be used quickly to express creative ideas and methods. TensorFlow code, which was created by earlier researchers, is one of the most widely used libraries for building machine learning models. It’s easy to find when trying to reproduce their work.

TensorFlow can be used by software developers on a variety of standard hardware, operating system, and platforms. TensorFlow 2.0 was introduced in 2019. TensorFlow models can now be deployed on a wider range of platforms. TensorFlow models can be interoperable, making deployment easy.


TensorFlow consistently ranks among the top Python libraries for machine learning. Its capabilities allow for the development of AI innovations by individuals, businesses, and governments around the world. Because of its low dependence and investment footprint, it is one of the most important tools for AI experiments before the product can be taken to market. TensorFlow will be more important as AI becomes more common in enterprise and consumer apps.

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