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Data Plane

The InferenceService Data Plane architecture consists of a static graph of components which coordinate requests for a single model. Advanced features such as Ensembling, A/B testing, and Multi-Arm-Bandits should compose InferenceServices together.

Data Plane


Component: Each endpoint is composed of multiple components: "predictor", "explainer", and "transformer". The only required component is the predictor, which is the core of the system. As KServe evolves, we plan to increase the number of supported components to enable use cases like Outlier Detection.

Predictor: The predictor is the workhorse of the InferenceService. It is simply a model and a model server that makes it available at a network endpoint.

Explainer: The explainer enables an optional alternate data plane that provides model explanations in addition to predictions. Users may define their own explanation container, which configures with relevant environment variables like prediction endpoint. For common use cases, KServe provides out-of-the-box explainers like Alibi.

Transformer: The transformer enables users to define a pre and post processing step before the prediction and explanation workflows. Like the explainer, it is configured with relevant environment variables too. For common use cases, KServe provides out-of-the-box transformers like Feast.

Data Plane (V1)

KServe has a standardized prediction workflow across all model frameworks.

API Verb Path Payload
Readiness GET /v1/models/ Response:{"name": , "ready": true/false}
Predict POST /v1/models/:predict Request:{"instances": []} Response:{"predictions": []}
Explain POST /v1/models/:explain Request:{"instances": []} Response:{"predictions": [], "explainations": []}


All InferenceServices speak the Tensorflow V1 HTTP API.

Note: Only Tensorflow models support the fields "signature_name" and "inputs".


All InferenceServices that are deployed with an Explainer support a standardized explanation API. This interface is identical to the Tensorflow V1 HTTP API with the addition of an ":explain" verb.

Data Plane (V2)

The second version of the data-plane protocol addresses several issues found with the V1 data-plane protocol, including performance and generality across a large number of model frameworks and servers.


The V2 protocol proposes both HTTP/REST and GRPC APIs. See the complete specification for more information.