Pipeline API allows you to use NNStreamer machine learning inference pipelines in your applications. You can use them to process data with machine learning models and custom callbacks.

Main features of Pipeline API

The main features of the Pipeline API include:


To access files, camera or recorder using the Pipeline API (in mobile, wearable, and TV applications), the application has to define proper privileges in its config.xml:

<!-- for accessing internal storage only -->
<tizen:privilege name="http://tizen.org/privilege/mediastorage"/>
<!-- for accessing external storage only -->
<tizen:privilege name="http://tizen.org/privilege/externalstorage"/>
<!-- for accessing camera -->
<tizen:privilege name="http://tizen.org/privilege/camera"/>
<!-- for accessing recorder -->
<tizen:privilege name="http://tizen.org/privilege/recorder"/>

As these are privacy-related privileges, the application has to request proper permissions using the PPM API (in mobile and wearable applications).

Create and dispose machine learning inference pipelines

NNStreamer is a plugin for GStreamer. It adds new pipeline nodes and data types that allow to run on-device machine learning inference. You can use some of the standard GStreamer and NNStreamer elements (also referred to as nodes throughout this guide) in your applications.

  • NNStreamer pipelines are created from string descriptions, for example:

    'appsrc ! other/tensor,dimension=(string)2:1:1:1,type=(string)int8,framerate=(fraction)0/1 ! tensor_filter framework=custom-easy model=my-custom-filter ! tensor_sink'
  • Exclamation marks ! separate pipeline nodes.

You can learn how to define pipeline descriptions from GStreamer documentation.

To create a machine learning inference pipeline:

  1. Describe the pipeline as a string:

    var pipelineDescription = 'videotestsrc num-buffers=3 ' +
                              '! video/x-raw,width=20,height=15,format=BGRA ' +
                              '! tensor_converter ' +
                              '! fakesink';
  2. Call tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline():

    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);

You can use pipeline object to manage the pipeline. Machine learning pipelines can be expensive in terms of used system resources. You can dispose pipelines to reclaim resources.

  1. To dispose a pipeline, call dispose():


The disposed pipelines enter the NULL state, and cannot be restarted. Any attempt of calling any method of a disposed pipeline results in NotFoundError exception.

Observe pipeline state and respond to its changes

Pipeline state reflects what the pipeline is doing right now and defines which methods can be called. To see how pipelines transition between different states, see the API reference (for mobile, wearable, and TV applications).

Pipeline API allows you to register listeners triggered by pipeline state changes and to poll current pipeline state.

To register a state change listener:

  1. Define a PipelineStateChangeListener, which is called when the pipeline changes its state:

    function pipelineStateChangeListener(newState) {
      console.log('New pipeline state: ' + newState);
  2. Call tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(), with state change listener as an argument:

    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription, pipelineStateChangeListener);
  3. You can also check the current pipeline state by reading the value of its state property:

    console.log(pipeline.state); // 'PLAYING'

Run machine learning inference pipelines

The newly created pipeline transitions through READY to PAUSED state, you have to manually start it and set it to PLAYING state.

  1. To start the data flow within a pipeline, call start():

  2. To stop inference, call pipeline’s stop():


When pipeline stops, it changes its state to PAUSED.

Get and set pipeline node properties

Operation of pipeline elements is controlled by properties, which can be read and written with Pipeline API. You can get the information about nodes using gst-inspect-1.0 command line tool on your Tizen device, for example:

gst-inspect-1.0 videotestsrc
Element Properties:
animation-mode      : For pattern=ball, which counter defines the position of the ball.
                    flags: readable, writable
                    Enum "GstVideoTestSrcAnimationMode" Default: 0, "frames"
                        (0): frames           - frame count
                        (1): wall-time        - wall clock time
                        (2): running-time     - running time

You can use the following information to change the pattern of the test video signal source to ball:

pattern             : Type of test pattern to generate
                    flags: readable, writable
                    Enum "GstVideoTestSrcPattern" Default: 0, "smpte"
                        (0): smpte            - SMPTE 100% color bars
                        (1): snow             - Random (television snow)

                        (18): ball             - Moving ball

To control node property with application code:

  1. Create a pipeline and define the names for those elements for which you want to get or set a property:

    var pipelineDescription = 'videotestsrc name=srcx ! tizenwlsink';
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);
  2. Get the NodeInfo object associated with the node you want to control:

    var videotestsrcNode = pipeline.getNodeInfo('srcx');
  3. To read the current value of pattern property, use the property type defined in gst-inspect-1.0 output:

    var pattern = videotestsrcNode.getProperty('pattern', 'ENUM');
    console.log(videotestsrcNode.name + '\'s pattern: ' + pattern); // 'srcx's pattern: 0';
  4. The current pattern is 0, which translates to frames pattern, according to gst-inspect-1.0 output. Change it to ball by setting property value to 18:

    videotestsrcNode.setProperty('pattern', 'ENUM', 18);

    You can also set the pattern value in pipeline description, for example, videotestsrc pattern=18 ! tizenwlsink

Input data from application

The pipeline input can be generated by specialized nodes, for example videotestsrc or by the application code feeding the appsrc nodes.

To input data from application:

  1. Create a pipeline with appsrc node, define properties of the input tensor in pipeline description, using the GStreamer capsfilter:

    var pipelineDescription = 'appsrc name=srcx ' +
                              '! other/tensor,dimension=(string)1:1:1:1,type=(string)int8 ' +
                              '! fakesink';
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);
  2. Get the srcx element from pipeline:

    var src = pipeline.getSource('srcx');
  3. Start the pipeline before providing input:

  4. Input data is processed by the pipeline. The Source.inputTensorsInfo property has the TensorsInfo expected at input:

    var inputInfo = src.inputTensorsInfo;
    var inputData = inputInfo.getTensorsData();
    var rawInputData = inputData.getTensorRawData(0);
    inputData.setTensorRawData(0, [123]);

Input data is passed to the further stages of the pipeline.

Read data from pipeline output

You can read the tensors output by the pipeline with the application code by registering a callback, triggered by data coming into appsink or tensor_sink. Use gst-inspect-1.0 to learn more about the differences between these two elements.

To get pipeline output:

  1. Create a pipeline with a sink node that can pass data to application:

    var pipelineDescription = 'videotestsrc num-buffers=3 ' +
                              '! videoconvert ' +
                              '! videoscale ' +
                              '! video/x-raw,format=RGBx,width=16,height=16,framerate=10/1 ' +
                              '! tensor_converter ' +
                              '! tensor_sink name=sinkx';
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);
  2. Register a listener triggered by data incoming to sinkx:

    function sinkListener(sinkName, data) {
      console.log('SinkListener for ' + sinkName + ' sink called. Data dimensions: ' +
    // Read and process data according to your needs
    pipeline.registerSinkListener('sinkx', sinkListener);

After starting the pipeline, sinkListener is to be called repeatedly.

Change data flow within pipeline

You may want to set the the source of the data to one of several pipeline branches. It can be done with input-selector node and Switch API.

You can analyze the pipeline from the following figure to see how to use input-selector to choose between blue and green branch as the source for the white branch:

Pipeline with branches and a switch

To choose a source branch with input-selector:

  1. Create a pipeline:

    var pipelineDescription = 'input-selector name=ins ! tensor_converter ! tensor_sink name=sinkx ' + // white branch
                              'videotestsrc is-live=true ! videoconvert ! ins.sink_0 ' + // blue branch
                              'videotestsrc num-buffers=3 is-live=true ! videoconvert ! ins.sink_1'; // green branch
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);
  2. Get insSwitch:

    var insSwitch = pipeline.getSwitch('ins');
  3. You can get Switch pads:

    console.log(insSwitch.getPadList()); // ["sink_0", "sink_1"]
  4. Choose the pad to be used as a source for input-selector and the white pipeline branch:

    insSwitch.select('sink_1'); // green branch used as the source

In the preceding example, an input-selector is used to choose from alternative sources. Similarly, you can use an output-selector to direct data to one of a set of sinks.

Start and stop data flow to a pipeline branch

Use valve element with Valve API to start and stop data flow in one of a pipeline branches.

To control data flow in a single pipeline branch:

  1. Create and start a pipeline with a valve element:

    var pipelineDescription = 'videotestsrc is-live=true ' +
                              '! videoconvert ' +
                              '! videoscale ' +
                              '! video/x-raw,format=RGBx,width=16,height=16,framerate=10/1 ' +
                              '! tensor_converter ' +
                              '! valve name=valve1 ' +
                              '! fakesink';
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);
  2. Get Valve element from the pipeline:

    var valve = pipeline.getValve('valve1');
  3. You can check if the valve is opened or closed:

    console.log(valve.isOpen); // true
  4. Set the desired valve state:

    valve.setOpen(false); // stop the data flow

Write custom data filters

The data flowing through the pipeline can be transformed in application using CustomFilter callbacks.


Sending data between CustomFilter running in JS application and GStreamer pipeline has large overhead. Using CustomFilter with large tensors may result in unsatisfactory performance.

To transform the data within a callback registered in JS application:

  1. Define information about CustomFilter's input and output tensors:

    var inputInfo = new tizen.ml.TensorsInfo();
    inputInfo.addTensorInfo('3D', 'UINT8', [4, 20, 15, 1]);
    var outputInfo = new tizen.ml.TensorsInfo();
    outputInfo.addTensorInfo('flat', 'UINT8', [1200]);
  2. Register CustomFilter in the pipeline. Ensure to return a proper status code from the callback. In this case, 0 is returned, that indicates success:

    function flattenFilter(inputData, outputData) {
      var rawInputData = inputData.getTensorRawData(0);
      outputData.setTensorRawData(0, rawInputData.data);
      return 0;
    tizen.ml.pipeline.registerCustomFilter('flattenFilter', flattenFilter, inputInfo, outputInfo);

    inputData and outputData passed to flattenFilter are different than other TensorsData objects. These objects cannot be disposed and are only valid within the callback. You have to copy the objects manually such that you can use these objects outside the callback. inputData is read-only and outputData is initialized with random values.

  3. Create a pipeline with a custom-easy-filter element:

    var pipelineDescription = 'videotestsrc num-buffers=3 ' +
                              '! video/x-raw,width=20,height=15,format=BGRA ' +
                              '! tensor_converter ' +
                              '! tensor_filter framework=custom-easy model=flattenFilter ' +
                              '! fakesink';
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);

When you start the pipeline, the flattenFilter transforms 3-dimensional tensors into 1-dimensional vector.

Use saved models

Using machine learning models trained with popular frameworks like TensorFlow is one of the main use cases for NNStreamer pipelines.

To read a model from file and use it in a pipeline:

  1. You must know the absolute path to the saved model file. It can be obtained from a path relative to a virtual root:

    var modelPath = 'documents/mobilenet_v1_1.0_224_quant.tflite';
    var URI_PREFIX = 'file://';
    var absoluteModelPath = tizen.filesystem.toURI(modelPath).substr(URI_PREFIX.length);
  2. Create a pipeline with a tensor_filter node with model property set to the location of a model:

    var pipelineDescription = 'appsrc name=srcx  ' +
                              '! other/tensor,dimension=(string)224:224:3:1,type=(string)float ' +
                              '! tensor_filter framework=tflite model=' + absoluteModelPath + ' ' +
                              '! appsink name=sinkx';
    var pipeline = tizen.ml.pipeline.createPipeline(pipelineDescription);
  3. Set up other pipeline elements, and use custom Source and Sink:

    var source = pipeline.getSource('srcx');
    function sinkListener(sinkName, data) {
      var rawData = data.getTensorRawData(0);
      console.log(sinkName + ' received the data:');
    pipeline.registerSinkListener('sinkx', sinkListener);
  4. Run the pipeline:

    var inputTensorsData = inputTensorsInfo.getTensorsData(0);
    var randomInput = [];
    for (var i = 0; i < 224 * 224 * 3; i++) {
    inputTensorsData.setTensorRawData(0, randomInput);
  • Dependencies
    • Tizen 6.5 and Higher for Mobile
    • Tizen 6.5 and Higher for Wearable
    • Tizen 6.5 and Higher for TV