# Is it possible to look up the gradient of native functions?

Is it possible to obtain the gradient function for builtin functions, such as `tanh` similar to the `backward` method of `Function` objects? E.g. for `tanh`, I would like to obtain a function that evaluates `lambda x: 1 - x.tanh().square()`.

afaik, there is no way to obtain a symbolic form / python code. depending on your needs, you can generate code with sympy or fully fledged CAS software, but that’s somewhat manual approach.

Derivatives for elementary functions are available in the source, e.g. the tanh derivative is implemented here. I’m just not sure how to get at it from the python code.

In other words, I don’t have a requirement for a symbolic form or a python representation, just a black-box function that evaluates the gradient.

``````torch.ops.aten.tanh_backward(torch.ones(3), torch.tanh(torch.full((3,), 2.0)))
``````
``````f = lambda x : x.tanh()
``````

Neat, the `tanh_backward` is what I’m looking for. Unfortunately, bindings for `sin_backward` don’t exist (because it’s just `cos`). But of course pytorch “knows” that `cos` is the derivative of the builtin function `sin`. What I’d like to do is extract that knowledge. Pseudocode below

``````def get_grad(builtin_function): ...
"""
Returns a function that evaluates the gradient of the
`builtin_function`. Raises `TypeError` if the function
does not have a registered gradient.

>>> get_grad(th.sin)  # Returns a function.
>>> get_grad(lambda x: x.exp().sin())  # Raises TypeError.
"""
``````

well, pytorch does code generation from tools/autograd/derivatives.yaml:

``````- name: sin(Tensor self) -> Tensor

- name: tanh(Tensor self) -> Tensor
``````

note that some backward functions of y=F(x) need x (self) and some y (result) as input

Generated Functions are in torch/csrc/autograd/generated/Functions.cpp, but I’m not sure whether their interface is exported to python.

If you want to be able to differentiate a function directly within PyTorch you’ll want to have a look at the FuncTorch library and use either `grad` or `jacrev`/`jacfwd` commands on a function to return a functional form of the derivative.

Here’s an example,

``````import torch