Frequently Asked Questions¶
Output slight numerical difference¶
Sometimes when you compare the output of Aesara using different Aesara flags, Aesara versions, CPU and GPU devices, or with other software like NumPy, you will see small numerical differences.
This is normal. Floating point numbers are approximations of real numbers. This is why doing a+(b+c) vs (a+b)+c can give small differences of value. This is normal. For more details, see: What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating-Point Arithmetic.
Faster gcc optimization¶
You can enable faster gcc optimization with the
This list of flags was suggested on the mailing list:
-O3 -ffast-math -ftree-loop-distribution -funroll-loops -ftracer
Use it at your own risk. Some people warned that the
-ftree-loop-distribution optimization resulted in wrong results in the past.
In the past we said that if the
compiledir was not shared by multiple
computers, you could add the
-march=native flag. Now we recommend
to remove this flag as Aesara does it automatically and safely,
even if the
compiledir is shared by multiple computers with different
CPUs. In fact, Aesara asks g++ what are the equivalent flags it uses, and re-uses
Faster Aesara Function Compilation¶
Aesara function compilation can be time consuming. It can be sped up by setting
mode=FAST_COMPILE which instructs Aesara to skip most
optimizations and disables the generation of any c/cuda code. This is useful
for quickly testing a simple idea.
If C code is necessary, the flag
optimizer=fast_compile can be used instead. It instructs Aesara to
skip time consuming optimizations but still generate C code.
Similarly using the flag
optimizer_excluding=inplace will speed up
compilation by preventing optimizations that replace operations with a
version that reuses memory where it will not negatively impact the
integrity of the operation. Such optimizations can be time
consuming. However using this flag will result in greater memory usage
because space must be allocated for the results which would be
unnecessary otherwise. In short, using this flag will speed up
compilation but it will also use more memory because
optimizer_excluding=inplace excludes inplace optimizations
resulting in a trade off between speed of compilation and memory
Alternatively, if the graph is big, using the flag
will speedup the computations by removing some of the inplace
optimizations. This would allow aesara to skip a time consuming cycle
detection algorithm. If the graph is big enough,we suggest that you use
this flag instead of
optimizer_excluding=inplace. It will result in a
computation time that is in between fast compile and fast run.
Faster Aesara function¶
You can set the Aesara flag
False to get a speed-up by using
more memory. By default, Aesara frees intermediate results when we don’t need
them anymore. Doing so prevents us from reusing this memory. So disabling the
garbage collection will keep all intermediate results’ memory space to allow to
reuse them during the next call to the same Aesara function, if they are of the
correct shape. The shape could change if the shapes of the inputs change.
Some Aesara optimizations make the assumption that the user inputs are
valid. What this means is that if the user provides invalid values (like
incompatible shapes or indexing values that are out of bounds) and
the optimizations are applied, the user error will get lost. Most of the
time, the assumption is that the user inputs are valid. So it is good
to have the optimization being applied, but losing the error is bad.
The newest optimization in Aesara with such assumption will add an
assertion in the graph to keep the user error message. Computing
these assertions could take some time. If you are sure everything is valid
in your graph and want the fastest possible Aesara, you can enable an
optimization that will remove those assertions with:
Faster Small Aesara function¶
For Aesara 0.6 and up.
For Aesara functions that don’t do much work, like a regular logistic
regression, the overhead of checking the input can be significant. You
can disable it by setting
f.trust_input to True.
Make sure the types of arguments you provide match those defined when
the function was compiled.
For example, replace the following
import aesara from aesara import function x = aesara.tensor.type.scalar('x') f = function([x], x + 1.) f(10.)
import numpy import aesara from aesara import function x = aesara.tensor.type.scalar('x') f = function([x], x + 1.) f.trust_input = True f(numpy.array([10.], dtype=aesara.config.floatX))
Also, for small Aesara functions, you can remove more Python overhead by
making an Aesara function that does not take any input. You can use shared
variables to achieve this. Then you can call it like this:
f.vm(n_calls=N) to speed it up. In the last case, only the last
function output (out of N calls) is returned.
You can also use the
C linker that will put all nodes in the same C
compilation unit. This removes some overhead between node in the graph,
but requires that all nodes in the graph have a C implementation:
x = aesara.tensor.type.scalar('x') f = function([x], (x + 1.) * 2, mode=aesara.compile.mode.Mode(linker='c')) f(10.)
“What are Aesara’s Limitations?”¶
Aesara offers a good amount of flexibility, but has some limitations too. You must answer for yourself the following question: How can my algorithm be cleverly written so as to make the most of what Aesara can do?
Here is a list of some of the known limitations:
- While- or for-Loops within an expression graph are supported, but only via
aesara.scan()op (which puts restrictions on how the loop body can interact with the rest of the graph).
- Neither goto nor recursion is supported or planned within expression graphs.