Defined in tensorflow/contrib/recurrent/python/ops/

Creates a bidirectional recurrent neural network.

Performs fully dynamic unrolling of inputs in both directions. Built to be API compatible with tf.nn.bidirectional_dynamic_rnn, but implemented with functional control flow for TPU compatibility.


  • cell_fw: An instance of tf.contrib.rnn.RNNCell.
  • cell_bw: An instance of tf.contrib.rnn.RNNCell.
  • inputs: The RNN inputs. If time_major == False (default), this must be a Tensor (or hierarchical structure of Tensors) of shape [batch_size, max_time, ...]. If time_major == True, this must be a Tensor (or hierarchical structure of Tensors) of shape: [max_time, batch_size, ...]. The first two dimensions must match across all the inputs, but otherwise the ranks and other shape components may differ.
  • initial_state_fw: An optional initial state for cell_fw. Should match cell_fw.zero_state in structure and type.
  • initial_state_bw: An optional initial state for cell_bw. Should match cell_bw.zero_state in structure and type.
  • dtype: (optional) The data type for the initial state and expected output. Required if initial_states are not provided or RNN state has a heterogeneous dtype.
  • sequence_length: An optional int32/int64 vector sized [batch_size]. Used to copy-through state and zero-out outputs when past a batch element's sequence length. So it's more for correctness than performance.
  • time_major: Whether the inputs tensor is in "time major" format.
  • use_tpu: Whether to enable TPU-compatible operation. If True, does not truly reverse inputs in the backwards RNN. Once b/69305369 is fixed, we can remove this flag.
  • scope: An optional scope name for the dynamic RNN.


  • outputs: A tuple of (output_fw, output_bw). The output of the forward and backward RNN. If time_major == False (default), these will be Tensors shaped: [batch_size, max_time, cell.output_size]. If time_major == True, these will be Tensors shaped: [max_time, batch_size, cell.output_size]. Note, if cell.output_size is a (possibly nested) tuple of integers or TensorShape objects, then the output for that direction will be a tuple having the same structure as cell.output_size, containing Tensors having shapes corresponding to the shape data in cell.output_size.
  • final_states: A tuple of (final_state_fw, final_state_bw). A Tensor or hierarchical structure of Tensors indicating the final cell state in each direction. Must have the same structure and shape as cell.zero_state.


  • ValueError: If initial_state_fw is None or initial_state_bw is None and dtype is not provided.