Activation Maximization for TCAV in Pytorch

I am trying to calculate the TCAV vectors for my model, for which I need to do the following thing:

def compute_tcav();
losses = [
(ActivationMaximization(model.layers[layer_idx], filter_indices), -1)
opt = Optimizer(input_tensor, losses, wrt_tensor=wrt_tensor, norm_grads=False)
grads = opt.minimize(seed_input=seed_input, max_iter=1, grad_modifier=grad_modifier, verbose=False)[1]

return utils.normalize(grads)[0]

I am using the amu package to compute activation maximization (GitHub - Nguyen-Hoa/Activation-Maximization: Python implementation of activation maximization with PyTorch.)

In this code, I need to get the gradient of the activation array for a particular layer wrt the target using the code below:

input.retain_grad() # non-leaf tensor
# network.zero_grad()

    # Propogate image through network,
    # then access activation of target layer
    layer_out = layer_activation[layer_name]

    # compute gradients w.r.t. target unit,
    # then access the gradient of input (image) w.r.t. target unit (neuron) 
    img_grad = input.grad

However, when I get my layer_out, it has a size of: torch.Size([1, 2, 97, 97, 97]) and therefore I cannot compute the layer_out[0][unit].backward(retain_graph=True).

How can I solve this?

tensor.backward() will populate the gradient with a scalar 1 value, if tensor is also a scalar tensor.
If tensor contains more than a single element, you would either need to pass the gradient explicitly to backward (e.g. via tensor.backward(gradient=torch.ones_like(tensor))) or you could reduce the tensor first e.g. via tensor.mean().backward().

Okay! That makes sense! I have now changed the code to the following:

tcav = {}
    for ind, (img, label) in enumerate(loader):
        img =, dtype=torch.float)
        output = model(img)

        layer_activation =  activation[layer_names[0]].cpu()
        loss = torch.mean(layer_activation)
        grads = torch.nn.functional.normalize(img.grad)
        tcav[ind] = {}
        tcav[ind][layer_names[0]] = grads

This, I believe, still follows the activation maximisation code (GitHub - Nguyen-Hoa/Activation-Maximization: Python implementation of activation maximization with PyTorch.

However, when I run this, img.grad is None. I understand that it’s not a leaf tensor, but I’m not quite sure how to then compute the image gradient.

The to() operation is differentiable and thus creates a non-leaf tensor:

img = torch.randn(1, 1)
# True

# True

img ='cuda', dtype=torch.float)
# False
# <ToCopyBackward0 object at 0x7f6d48d5d1c0>

Move the tensor to the device and dtype first before setting the tensor’s .requires_grad attribute to True:

img = torch.randn(1, 1)
img ='cuda', dtype=torch.float)

# True