Type Denotation

Type Denotation is used to describe semantic information around what the inputs and outputs are. It is stored on the TypeProto message.


The motivation of such a mechanism can be illustrated via a simple example. In the neural network SqueezeNet, it takes in an NCHW image input float[1,3,244,244] and produces a output float[1,1000,1,1]:

input_in_NCHW -> data_0 -> SqueezeNet() -> output_softmaxout_1

In order to run this model the user needs a lot of information. In this case the user needs to know:

  • the input is an image

  • the image is in the format of NCHW

  • the color channels are in the order of bgr

  • the pixel data is 8 bit

  • the pixel data is normalized as values 0-255

This proposal consists of three key components to provide all of this information:

Type Denotation Definition

To begin with, we define a set of semantic types that define what models generally consume as inputs and produce as outputs.

Specifically, in our first proposal we define the following set of standard denotations:

  1. TENSOR describes that a type holds a generic tensor using the standard TypeProto message.

  2. IMAGE describes that a type holds an image. You can use dimension denotation to learn more about the layout of the image, and also the optional model metadata_props.

  3. AUDIO describes that a type holds an audio clip.

  4. TEXT describes that a type holds a block of text.

Model authors SHOULD add type denotation to inputs and outputs for the model as appropriate.

An Example with input IMAGE

Let’s use the same SqueezeNet example from above and show everything to properly annotate the model:

  • First set the TypeProto.denotation =IMAGE for the ValueInfoProto data_0

  • Because it’s an image, the model consumer now knows to go look for image metadata on the model

  • Then include 3 metadata strings on ModelProto.metadata_props

    • Image.BitmapPixelFormat = Bgr8

    • Image.ColorSpaceGamma = SRGB

    • Image.NominalPixelRange = NominalRange_0_255

  • For that same ValueInfoProto, make sure to also use Dimension Denotations to denote NCHW

    • TensorShapeProto.Dimension[0].denotation = DATA_BATCH

    • TensorShapeProto.Dimension[1].denotation = DATA_CHANNEL

    • TensorShapeProto.Dimension[2].denotation = DATA_FEATURE

    • TensorShapeProto.Dimension[3].denotation = DATA_FEATURE

Now there is enough information in the model to know everything about how to pass a correct image into the model.