Retrieving hidden and cell states from LSTM in a Language model

What is the order of the hidden and cell states in the tuple that is returned by LSTM? Particularly, in the word LM model, in , we have:

with open(args.outf, 'w') as outf:
    with torch.no_grad():  # no tracking history
        for i in range(args.words):
            output, hidden = model(input, hidden)

In the above code, hidden is a tuple with two tensors, each of same shape. Since this is an LSTM, it returns both h and c states. But, how is h and c ordered in the tuple?

My understanding is this:

h, c = hidden

Is this correct? Or is it the other way around?


It’s correct if it’s not an LSTM Cell. If you’r using nn.LSTM, then this would return output, (h_n, c_n), however if your using nn.LSTMCell, then this would return h_1, c_1. The order is the hidden state and then the cell state. So in your case, hidden would be equal to (h_n, c_n).

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Thank you!

Yes, I’m using nn.LSTM with 2 hidden layers (unidirectional). So, I also want to ask about the shape of h_n specifically in this case. For example, I get the shape of h_n as torch.Size([2, 1, 1500])

If I understand it correctly, I can get the hidden states of the hidden layers by indexing into them in the order:

first_hidden_layer_hidden_state = h_n[0]    # torch.Size([1, 1500])
second_hidden_layer_hidden_state = h_n[-1]    # torch.Size([1, 1500])

Is this a correct way of indexing and getting the hidden states?

P.S.: I’m just interested only in these hidden states because I want to pass them to a downstream network for further processing.

Hi. The outputs for the LSTM is shown in the attached figure. Capture

The output shape for h_n would be (num_layers * num_directions, batch, hidden_size). This is basically the output for the last timestep. Your output is (2,1,1500) so you are using 2 layers*1 (unidirectional) , 1 sample and a hidden size of 1500).
Now the LSTM would return for you output, (h_n, c_n). In your case, (h_n, c_n) is named hidden. So by indexing hidden you can extract the h_n and c_n (i.e hidden[0] = h_n and hidden[1] = c_n)

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Thank you for clear explanation. It was very helpful! I just want to confirm one point again:

Since I’m using 2 layer LSTM network, I want to extract hidden state of the last hidden layer. Is the following way of indexing correct way to do:

first_hidden_layer_hidden_state = h_n[0] # torch.Size([1, 1500])
second_hidden_layer_hidden_state = h_n[-1] # torch.Size([1, 1500])

If the above is correct, I’m interested in second_hidden_layer_hidden_state.

Also, is it analogous for the cell state as well?

first_hidden_layer_cell_state = c_n[0] # torch.Size([1, 1500])
second_hidden_layer_cell_state = c_n[-1] # torch.Size([1, 1500])

Thank you!

To retrieve the hidden or cell states of the last (or any of the) hidden layers, the diagram in whats-the-difference-between-hidden-and-output-in-pytorch-lstm is very helpful and makes it easy to understand.

In short, the number ranges from [0, 1, 2, 3, …, n] for [hidden_layer_1, hidden_layer_2, hidden_layer_3, …, hidden_layer_n] for n hidden layers.

So, with two hidden layers, the hidden and cell states of the second (or last) hidden layer can be extracted using:

analogously for the cell state:

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