Minimizing a function - parameter history is all the same value

Hey everbody!

I’m trying to minimize a function in order to better understand the optimizer process. As an example I used the Eggholder-Function ( which is 2d. My goal is to get the values of my parameters (x and y) after every optimizer iteration so that i can visualize it afterwards.

I wrote the following code:

def eggholder_function(x):
    return -(x[1] + 47) * torch.sin(torch.sqrt(torch.abs(x[1] + x[0]/2 + 47))) - x[0]*torch.sin(torch.sqrt(torch.abs(x[0]-(x[1]+47))))

def minimize(function, initial_parameters):
    list_params = []
    params = initial_parameters
    optimizer = torch.optim.Adam([params], lr=0.1)

    for i in range(5):
        loss = function(params)

    return params, list_params

starting_point = torch.tensor([-30.,-10.])
minimized_params, list_of_params = minimize(eggholder_function, starting_point)

The output is as follows:

minimized_params: tensor([-29.4984, -10.5021], requires_grad=True)


[tensor([-29.4984, -10.5021], requires_grad=True),
 tensor([-29.4984, -10.5021], requires_grad=True),
 tensor([-29.4984, -10.5021], requires_grad=True),
 tensor([-29.4984, -10.5021], requires_grad=True),
 tensor([-29.4984, -10.5021], requires_grad=True)]

While I understand that the minimized_params is infact the optimized minimum, why does list_of_params show the same values for every iteration?

Thank you and have a great day!

Hi Telias!

You are appending the same (reference to a) tensor, params, to
list_params with every iteration of the loop. You do change the
contents of the tensor with every iteration, but when you display
list_params, it’s just the same single tensor – with its final
value – displayed multiple times.

You would need to clone() the tensor (or otherwise make copies
of the values) to record the parameter history.


>>> import torch
>>> torch.__version__
>>> t = torch.tensor ([1.0])
>>> list_t = []
>>> list_t_clone = []
>>> for  i in range (5):
...     t *= 2.0
...     list_t.append (t)
...     list_t_clone.append (t.clone())
>>> list_t
[tensor([32.]), tensor([32.]), tensor([32.]), tensor([32.]), tensor([32.])]
>>> list_t_clone
[tensor([2.]), tensor([4.]), tensor([8.]), tensor([16.]), tensor([32.])]


K. Frank

1 Like

That makes sense, thank you!