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Base class for optimizers.

This class defines the API to add Ops to train a model. You never use this class directly, but instead instantiate one of its subclasses such as GradientDescentOptimizer, AdagradOptimizer, or MomentumOptimizer.


# Create an optimizer with the desired parameters.
opt = GradientDescentOptimizer(learning_rate=0.1)
# Add Ops to the graph to minimize a cost by updating a list of variables.
# "cost" is a Tensor, and the list of variables contains tf.Variable
# objects.
opt_op = opt.minimize(cost, var_list=<list of variables>)

In the training program you will just have to run the returned Op.

# Execute opt_op to do one step of training:

Processing gradients before applying them.

Calling minimize() takes care of both computing the gradients and applying them to the variables. If you want to process the gradients before applying them you can instead use the optimizer in three steps:

  1. Compute the gradients with compute_gradients().
  2. Process the gradients as you wish.
  3. Apply the processed gradients with apply_gradients().


# Create an optimizer.
opt = GradientDescentOptimizer(learning_rate=0.1)

# Compute the gradients for a list of variables.
grads_and_vars = opt.compute_gradients(loss, <list of variables>)

# grads_and_vars is a list of tuples (gradient, variable).  Do whatever you
# need to the 'gradient' part, for example cap them, etc.
capped_grads_and_vars = [(MyCapper(gv[0]), gv[1]) for gv in grads_and_vars]

# Ask the optimizer to apply the capped gradients.

Gating Gradients

Both minimize() and compute_gradients() accept a gate_gradients argument that controls the degree of parallelism during the application of the gradients.

The possible values are: GATE_NONE, GATE_OP, and GATE_GRAPH.

GATE_NONE: Compute and apply gradients in parallel. This provides the maximum parallelism in execution, at the cost of some non-reproducibility in the results. For example the two gradients of matmul depend on the input values: With GATE_NONE one of the gradients could be applied to one of the inputs before the other gradient is computed resulting in non-reproducible results.

GATE_OP: For each Op, make sure all gradients are computed before they are used. This prevents race conditions for Ops that generate gradients for multiple inputs where the gradients depend on the inputs.

GATE_GRAPH: Make sure all gradients for all variables are computed before any one of them is used. This provides the least parallelism but can be useful if you want to process all gradients before applying any of them.


Some optimizer subclasses, such as MomentumOptimizer and AdagradOptimizer allocate and manage additional variables associated with the variables to train. These are called Slots. Slots have names and you can ask the optimizer for the names of the slots that it uses. Once you have a slot name you can ask the optimizer for the variable it created to hold the slot value.

This can be useful if you want to log debug a training algorithm, report stats about the slots, etc.

use_locking Bool. If True apply use locks to prevent concurrent updates to variables.
name A non-empty string. The name to use for accumulators created for the optimizer.

ValueError If name is malformed.



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Apply gradients to variables.

This is the second part of minimize(). It returns an Operation that applies gradients.

grads_and_vars List of (gradient, variable) pairs as returned by compute_gradients().
global_step Optional Variable to increment by one after the variables have been updated.
name Optional name for the returned operation. Default to the name passed to the Optimizer constructor.

An Operation that applies the specified gradients. If global_step was not None, that operation also increments global_step.

TypeError If grads_and_vars is malformed.
ValueError If none of the variables have gradients.
RuntimeError If you should use _distributed_apply() instead.


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Compute gradients of loss for the variables in var_list.

This is the first part of minimize(). It returns a list of (gradient, variable) pairs where "gradient" is the gradient for "variable". Note that "gradient" can be a Tensor, an IndexedSlices, or None if there is no gradient for the given variable.

loss A Tensor containing the value to