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Manoj Rao

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Automatic Differentiation with autograd

Here we show how Automatic Differentiation can be set up using MXNet. This is super convenient way to set up backpropagation. Follow along and have fun!

Basic Usage:

from mxnet import nd
from mxnet import autograd
  • Differentiate $f(x) = 2x^2$
x = nd.array([[1,2], [3, 4]])
[[1. 2.]
 [3. 4.]]
<NDArray 2x2 @cpu(0)>
  • MXNet we can tell an NDArray that we plan to store a gradient by invoking it’s attach_grad() method.
  • Define the function $y = f(x)$ to let MXNet store $y$, so that we can computer gradients later.
  • Put the definition inside a autograd.record() scope.
with autograd.record():
    y = 2 * x * x

  • Invoke backpropagation by calling y.backward(). When y has more than one entry y.backward() is equivalent to y.sum().backward()
  • If $y = 2x^2$ then $\frac{dy}{dx} = 4x$
[[ 4.  8.]
 [12. 16.]]
<NDArray 2x2 @cpu(0)>
4 * x
[[ 4.  8.]
 [12. 16.]]
<NDArray 2x2 @cpu(0)>

Using Python control flows