Saving and Loading Models in Scikit-Learn

Scikit-Learn is a popular machine learning library in Python that provides a robust set of tools for building and training various machine learning models. Once you have trained a model using Scikit-Learn, it is essential to save it for future use or deployment. In this article, we will explore how to save and load models in Scikit-Learn using various techniques.

Why Saving and Loading Models is Important

Saving and loading models serve several purposes in the machine learning workflow:

  1. Reusability: Once you have trained a model, you can save it and reuse it to make predictions on new unseen data without the need to retrain the model every time.

  2. Deployment: Saving a trained model allows you to deploy it in production systems, web applications, or mobile applications without having to retrain it in these environments.

  3. Collaboration and Sharing: Saved models can be easily shared with colleagues, team members, or the wider community, enabling collaboration and reproducibility of results.

Different Ways to Save and Load Models in Scikit-Learn

Scikit-Learn provides several ways to save and load models, depending on your requirements and preferences. Let's explore some of the most commonly used techniques:

1. Pickle Serialization

Pickle is a Python module that comes bundled with the standard library. It provides a straightforward way to serialize objects, including Scikit-Learn models, into a byte stream. The saved model can then be deserialized and loaded back into memory whenever required.

import pickle

# Save the model to disk
with open('model.pkl', 'wb') as file:
    pickle.dump(model, file)

# Load the model from disk
with open('model.pkl', 'rb') as file:
    loaded_model = pickle.load(file)

Pickle serialization is a convenient method, and it works well for most Scikit-Learn models. However, it is essential to note that loading models serialized with pickle can have security implications. Therefore, only unpickle models from trusted sources or use alternative methods for untrusted sources.

2. Joblib Serialization

Joblib is another serialization library available in Scikit-Learn, designed specifically for large NumPy arrays and scientific Python workflows. Joblib uses pickle internally but provides more efficient handling of the large NumPy arrays often found in machine learning.

from sklearn.externals import joblib

# Save the model to disk
joblib.dump(model, 'model.joblib')

# Load the model from disk
loaded_model = joblib.load('model.joblib')

The Joblib serialization method is especially recommended when dealing with large models or when memory consumption is a concern. It provides faster serialization and deserialization compared to pickle and is the preferred method for Scikit-Learn models.

3. Saving and Loading Model Weights

In some cases, you may only need to save and load the learned weights of a model rather than the entire model object. This approach is beneficial when you want to leverage the learned weights in a different framework or architecture.

# Save model weights to disk

# Load model weights from disk

By saving and loading only the model weights, you can achieve interoperability with other deep learning frameworks like TensorFlow or PyTorch.


Saving and loading models is an essential part of the machine learning workflow in Scikit-Learn. In this article, we explored various techniques for saving and loading models, including pickle serialization, joblib serialization, and saving/loading only model weights. It is crucial to choose the appropriate method based on your specific use case and preferences. By effectively saving and loading models, you can enhance the reusability, deployment, and collaboration aspects of your machine learning projects.

noob to master © copyleft