ImageDataNet: Generator for Training and Validation

1 minute read

Good organization is key when it comes to the performance of our engineering team. When it comes to training and validation of an ML algorithm, there are some best practices. Using the ImageDataGenerator class from Keras gives us an easy way to organize a dataset. Maintaining this from the in-house tagging we have, to CI/CD, and through release giving us a shorter release cycle with fewer bugs. ImageNet will automatically label these images for us removing a coding step.

File Structure

Firstly, start by understanding the file structure. The root directory /images, as an example, could be a Kaggle file you have unzipped with the images you want to train on.

graph BT Images --> Training --> Cats --> 1.jpg Cats --> 2.jpg Cats --> 3.jpg Training --> Dogs --> 4.jpg Dogs --> 5.jpg Dogs --> 6.jpg Images --> Validation --> vcat[Cats] --> 7.jpg vcat[Cats] --> 8.jpg Validation --> vdog[Dogs] --> 9.jpg vdog[Dogs] --> 10.jpg

Training Image Generator

The image generator can perform some manipulations on the fly; this makes it handy to play around with some alternative options without preprocessing an entire training set. Here, we will normalize via rescale and change the dimensions via target_size.

from tensorflow.keras.preprocessing.image
import ImageDataGenerator

train_datagen = ImageDataGenerator(rescale=1.0/255)
training_dir = '/tmp/images'

train_generator = train_datagen.flow_from_directory(
        target_size=(120, 120),

Validation Image Generator

Similarly to the aforementioned training generator, we can create a generator for our validation set

test_datagen = ImageDataGenerator(rescale=1.0/255)

validation_generator = test_datagen.flow_from_directory(
        target_size=(120, 120),

And go ahead and train like usual, but using the generators instead,