Defined in tensorflow/python/ops/

See the guide: Variables > Sparse Variable Updates

Applies sparse addition to individual values or slices in a Variable.

ref is a Tensor with rank P and indices is a Tensor of rank Q.

indices must be integer tensor, containing indices into ref. It must be shape [d_0, ..., d_{Q-2}, K] where 0 < K <= P.

The innermost dimension of indices (with length K) corresponds to indices into elements (if K = P) or slices (if K < P) along the Kth dimension of ref.

updates is Tensor of rank Q-1+P-K with shape:

[d_0, ..., d_{Q-2}, ref.shape[K], ..., ref.shape[P-1]].

For example, say we want to add 4 scattered elements to a rank-1 tensor to 8 elements. In Python, that update would look like this:

    ref = tf.Variable([1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8])
    indices = tf.constant([[4], [3], [1] ,[7]])
    updates = tf.constant([9, 10, 11, 12])
    add = tf.scatter_nd_add(ref, indices, updates)
    with tf.Session() as sess:

The resulting update to ref would look like this:

[1, 13, 3, 14, 14, 6, 7, 20]

See tf.scatter_nd for more details about how to make updates to slices.


  • ref: A mutable Tensor. Must be one of the following types: float32, float64, int32, uint8, int16, int8, complex64, int64, qint8, quint8, qint32, bfloat16, uint16, complex128, half, uint32, uint64. A mutable Tensor. Should be from a Variable node.
  • indices: A Tensor. Must be one of the following types: int32, int64. A tensor of indices into ref.
  • updates: A Tensor. Must have the same type as ref. A tensor of updated values to add to ref.
  • use_locking: An optional bool. Defaults to False. An optional bool. Defaults to True. If True, the assignment will be protected by a lock; otherwise the behavior is undefined, but may exhibit less contention.
  • name: A name for the operation (optional).


A mutable Tensor. Has the same type as ref.