Image Classification using Keras in TensorFlow Backend

Today, we’ll be learning Python image Classification using Keras in TensorFlow backend. Keras is one of the easiest deep learning frameworks. It is also extremely powerful and flexible. It runs on three backends: TensorFlow, CNTK, and Theano.

I will be working on the CIFAR-10 dataset. This is because the Keras library includes it already. For more datasets go to the Keras datasets page. CIFAR-10 dataset has 50000 training images, 10000 test images, both of 32×32 and has 10 categories namely:
0:airplane 1:automobile 2:bird 3:cat 4:deer 5:dog 6:frog 7:horse 8:ship 9:truck .

Before starting, please ensure you have Keras with TensorFlow backend available. If not, install it Here.

Steps to follow for image classification with Keras

Now let’s see how to do it in step by step:

Step1: Importing necessary libraries

from keras.datasets import cifar10                                      # used in step 2
from keras.utils import np_utils                                        # used in step 3
from keras.models import Sequential                                     # used in step 4
from keras.layers import Conv2D, MaxPooling2D                           # used in step 4
from keras.layers import Dense, Dropout, Activation, Flatten            # used in step 4
import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
%matplotlib inline

The first import is the dataset: CIFAR-10 itself. Then we import the utils package. Sequential is imported to construct a sequential network. Next, is the CNN layers. then import the core layers. I suggest keeping the Keras documentation for all these packages open in a tab throughout this tutorial. The last imports are numpy and matplotlib.

Step 2: Loading data from CIFAR-10

The load_data() method returns a training set and a testing set. xtrain and xtest contain the image in array form and ytrain and ytest contain the category (from 0 to 9). We can look at the shape of the array. Also, it is good practice to plot the image to see what it looks like.



(50000, 32, 32, 3)
(50000, 1)
<matplotlib.image.AxesImage at 0x1d9893c8688>
plot CIFAR-10 image
The x-array (50000, 32, 32, 3) contains the number of images, the 32 pixels x 32 pixels, and the depth. Since this is an RGB image, the depth is 3. The y-array (50000, 1) contains 5000 images and 10 classes in 1D array.

Step 3: Preprocessing Input and Output

We need to Normalise our data values to a range between 0 and 1. For this, we divide the data values by 255 since we know that the maximum RGB value is 255. But before this, we need to convert the data type to float32.


Also, to process the y-array, we need to convert the 1D array with 10 classes to 10 arrays with one class each. The 10 classes correspond to 10 categories.



(50000, 10)
(10000, 10)

Step 4: Creating the network

First, we need to define the model. Since we are making a sequential model, we create a Sequential model object.

m = Sequential()

Next, we need to add the input convolution layer (CNN) using Conv2D. The first parameter ie.32 represents the number of filters and (3,3) represents the number of rows and columns. The input_shape is the shape of one input image ie. (32,32,3)


We can add as many CNNs in between as we want.


To know more about Conv2D, MaxPooling, Dropout etc, visit Keras documentation
Next, we add the Fully connected Dense layers. Make sure that the outputs from CNN are flattened before feeding it to the dense layers.


Then, add the final output layer. The first Parameter in Dense is the number of outputs. So, the final layer has 10 outputs corresponding to 10 categories.

m.add(Dense(10, activation='softmax'))

With this, we have completed our network.

Step 5: Compiling, Training, Evaluating

The compile() method defines a loss function, optimizer (we have used predefined ‘Adadelta’), and metrics. You need to compile a model before training.


The fit () method trains the data using the training inputs. We have defined the batch_size as 32 and epochs as 2. Epoch is the number of passes over the entire dataset. Higher the Epoch, the higher will be the accuracy. I have only used 2 because higher values require a lot of time and resources. For this dataset, at least 50 datasets are required to get good accuracy.,ytrain,batch_size=32,epochs=2)


Epoch 1/2
50000/50000 [==============================] - 178s 4ms/step - loss: 0.9548 - accuracy: 0.6668
Epoch 2/2
50000/50000 [==============================] - 185s 4ms/step - loss: 0.8568 - accuracy: 0.7028

The evaluate() method is used after you have trained your model. It takes the testing inputs and outputs loss and accuracy.

result = m.evaluate(xtest, ytest)


10000/10000 [==============================] - 9s 919us/step
[0.8568861591339111, 0.7028000273704529]

Step 6: Predicting

Evaluate() and predict() are not the same. Predict() outputs the category for the given input data. Thus we pass the testing inputs as parameters. It outputs an (n x 10) array containing the probabilities of each category(column) for that particular image(row).

ypred = m.predict(xtest)


[[1.52685883e-04 1.60379231e-03 3.51585657e-03 ... 1.31038280e-04
  6.27783127e-03 2.18168786e-03]
 [1.11513287e-02 8.53282690e-01 7.34639571e-07 ... 3.84769594e-09
  1.27586797e-01 7.97820278e-03]
 [2.13376582e-02 8.15662503e-01 2.58647744e-03 ... 2.49057682e-03
  5.43371600e-04 3.23010795e-03]
 [1.04555793e-05 1.44058195e-05 9.92649235e-04 ... 9.27792609e-01
  2.97331007e-06 1.92014850e-05]]

We can choose a particular index and predict the image as follows:

x=int(input("Enter the index of any picture from the test batch to predict ie. enter a number from 1 to 10000:  "))
print("\nPrediction: \n",ypred[x])
print("\nActual: \n",ytest[x])


Enter the index of any picture from the test batch to predict ie. enter a number from 1 to 10000:  6000

 [0.08831886 0.05823785 0.08399942 0.03805733 0.0353229  0.00504771
 0.01562174 0.00598332 0.47863427 0.19077668]

 [0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 0. 1. 0.]
<matplotlib.image.AxesImage at 0x1d9dc984488>
CIFAR-10 plot in keras

Let’s plot a graph of the actual and the predicted probabilities:

labels=['airplane','automobile','bird','cat','deer','dog','frog','horse','ship','truck'],ytest[x])                          # actual,ypred[x])                          # predicted



<BarContainer object of 10 artists>
graph of the actual and the predicted probabilities


<BarContainer object of 10 artists>

bar chart


Image Classification using Keras requires a lot of time and computation power. If you are lacking both, you can use Nanonets API: visit Image classification using Nanonets API in Python

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