Exporting models

After training an agent, you may want to deploy/use it in another language or framework, like tensorflowjs. Stable Baselines3 does not include tools to export models to other frameworks, but this document aims to cover parts that are required for exporting along with more detailed stories from users of Stable Baselines3.


In Stable Baselines3, the controller is stored inside policies which convert observations into actions. Each learning algorithm (e.g. DQN, A2C, SAC) contains a policy object which represents the currently learned behavior, accessible via model.policy.

Policies hold enough information to do the inference (i.e. predict actions), so it is enough to export these policies (cf examples) to do inference in another framework.


When using CNN policies, the observation is normalized during pre-preprocessing. This pre-processing is done inside the policy (dividing by 255 to have values in [0, 1])

Export to ONNX

As of June 2021, ONNX format doesn’t support exporting models that use the broadcast_tensors functionality of pytorch. So in order to export the trained stable-baseline3 models in the ONNX format, we need to first remove the layers that use broadcasting. This can be done by creating a class that removes the unsupported layers.

The following examples are for MlpPolicy only, and are general examples. Note that you have to preprocess the observation the same way stable-baselines3 agent does (see common.preprocessing.preprocess_obs).

For PPO, assuming a shared feature extactor.


The following example is for continuous actions only. When using discrete or binary actions, you must do some post-processing to obtain the action (e.g., convert action logits to action).

from stable_baselines3 import PPO
import torch

class OnnxablePolicy(torch.nn.Module):
  def __init__(self, extractor, action_net, value_net):
      super(OnnxablePolicy, self).__init__()
      self.extractor = extractor
      self.action_net = action_net
      self.value_net = value_net

  def forward(self, observation):
      # NOTE: You may have to process (normalize) observation in the correct
      #       way before using this. See `common.preprocessing.preprocess_obs`
      action_hidden, value_hidden = self.extractor(observation)
      return self.action_net(action_hidden), self.value_net(value_hidden)

# Example: model = PPO("MlpPolicy", "Pendulum-v1")
model = PPO.load("PathToTrainedModel.zip")
onnxable_model = OnnxablePolicy(model.policy.mlp_extractor, model.policy.action_net, model.policy.value_net)

dummy_input = torch.randn(1, observation_size)
torch.onnx.export(onnxable_model, dummy_input, "my_ppo_model.onnx", opset_version=9)

##### Load and test with onnx

import onnx
import onnxruntime as ort
import numpy as np

onnx_model = onnx.load(onnx_path)

observation = np.zeros((1, observation_size)).astype(np.float32)
ort_sess = ort.InferenceSession(onnx_path)
action, value = ort_sess.run(None, {'input.1': observation})

For SAC the procedure is similar. The example shown only exports the actor network as the actor is sufficient to roll out the trained policies.

from stable_baselines3 import SAC
import torch

class OnnxablePolicy(torch.nn.Module):
  def __init__(self,  actor):
      super(OnnxablePolicy, self).__init__()

      # Removing the flatten layer because it can't be onnxed
      self.actor = torch.nn.Sequential(actor.latent_pi, actor.mu)

  def forward(self, observation):
      # NOTE: You may have to process (normalize) observation in the correct
      #       way before using this. See `common.preprocessing.preprocess_obs`
      return self.actor(observation)

model = SAC.load("PathToTrainedModel.zip")
onnxable_model = OnnxablePolicy(model.policy.actor)

dummy_input = torch.randn(1, observation_size)
torch.onnx.export(onnxable_model, dummy_input, "my_sac_actor.onnx", opset_version=9)

For more discussion around the topic refer to this issue.

Export to C++

(using PyTorch JIT) TODO: help is welcomed!

Export to tensorflowjs / ONNX-JS

TODO: contributors help is welcomed! Probably a good starting point: https://github.com/elliotwaite/pytorch-to-javascript-with-onnx-js

Export to TFLite / Coral (Edge TPU)

Full example code: https://github.com/chunky/sb3_to_coral

Google created a chip called the “Coral” for deploying AI to the edge. It’s available in a variety of form factors, including USB (using the Coral on a Rasbperry pi, with a SB3-developed model, was the original motivation for the code example above).

The Coral chip is fast, with very low power consumption, but only has limited on-device training abilities. More information is on the webpage here: https://coral.ai.

To deploy to a Coral, one must work via TFLite, and quantise the network to reflect the Coral’s capabilities. The full chain to go from SB3 to Coral is: SB3 (Torch) => ONNX => TensorFlow => TFLite => Coral.

The code linked above is a complete, minimal, example that:

  1. Creates a model using SB3

  2. Follows the path of exports all the way to TFLite and Google Coral

  3. Demonstrates the forward pass for most exported variants

There are a number of pitfalls along the way to the complete conversion that this example covers, including:

  • Making the Gym’s observation work with ONNX properly

  • Quantising the TFLite model appropriately to align with Gym while still taking advantage of Coral

  • Using OnnxablePolicy described as described in the above example

Manual export

You can also manually export required parameters (weights) and construct the network in your desired framework.

You can access parameters of the model via agents’ get_parameters function. As policies are also PyTorch modules, you can also access model.policy.state_dict() directly. To find the architecture of the networks for each algorithm, best is to check the policies.py file located in their respective folders.


In most cases, we recommend using PyTorch methods state_dict() and load_state_dict() from the policy, unless you need to access the optimizers’ state dict too. In that case, you need to call get_parameters().