A context manager that lifts ops out of control-flow scopes and function-building graphs.


  • tf.compat.v1.init_scope
  • tf.compat.v2.init_scope
  • tf.init_scope

Defined in python/framework/

There is often a need to lift variable initialization ops out of control-flow scopes, function-building graphs, and gradient tapes. Entering an init_scope is a mechanism for satisfying these desiderata. In particular, entering an init_scope has three effects:

(1) All control dependencies are cleared the moment the scope is entered; this is equivalent to entering the context manager returned from control_dependencies(None), which has the side-effect of exiting control-flow scopes like tf.cond and tf.while_loop.

(2) All operations that are created while the scope is active are lifted into the lowest context on the context_stack that is not building a graph function. Here, a context is defined as either a graph or an eager context. Every context switch, i.e., every installation of a graph as the default graph and every switch into eager mode, is logged in a thread-local stack called context_switches; the log entry for a context switch is popped from the stack when the context is exited. Entering an init_scope is equivalent to crawling up context_switches, finding the first context that is not building a graph function, and entering it. A caveat is that if graph mode is enabled but the default graph stack is empty, then entering an init_scope will simply install a fresh graph as the default one.

(3) The gradient tape is paused while the scope is active.

When eager execution is enabled, code inside an init_scope block runs with eager execution enabled even when defining graph functions via tf.contrib.eager.defun. For example:


def func():
  # A defun-decorated function constructs TensorFlow graphs,
  # it does not execute eagerly.
  assert not tf.executing_eagerly()
  with tf.init_scope():
    # Initialization runs with eager execution enabled
    assert tf.executing_eagerly()


  • RuntimeError: if graph state is incompatible with this initialization.