UserWarning: size_average and reduce args will be deprecated, please use reduction='sum' instead

Since upgrading PyTorch (to ‘0.5.0a0+a24163a’), I am getting the following warning:

/usr/lib/python3.7/site-packages/torch/nn/ UserWarning: size_average and reduce args will be deprecated, please use reduction='sum' instead.

Is this due to the new pytorch version or is it due to python-3.7? Is there anything I need to do or is it going to be fixed in newer versions?

Thank you.

The reduction argument was recently introduced in 0.4.1.
See e.g. the docs for nn.CrossEntropyLoss.

It’s currently just a warning that you are using deprecated arguments, so you should definitely use reduction instead of reduce or size_average.


Thank you very much!

You need to replace the deprecated arguments with the given suggestion.

See here how they are are generating the warning message.

It will also help you understand why the reduction argument makes the other two redundant.

@ptrblck the docs still say size_average is required in order to use ignore_index in F.cross_entropy. It’s not clear how size_average is replaced by reduction in this case. How are we meant to use ignore_index?

Yeah, the documentation might be a bit misleading, as size_average is mentioned, while this argument is deprecated and reduction should be used instead.

There are basically the three reduction types, i.e. 'none', 'sum', and 'mean'.
ignore_index will be applied as:

  1. reduction='none': the loss will not be reduced, so you will get a loss tensor in the shape [batch_size]. The entries, where target==ignore_index, will have a zero loss.
  2. reduction='mean': the reduced loss will be the average of all entries, where target!=ignore_index.
  3. reduction='sum': the reduced loss will be the sum of the “raw loss”. Since the samples with ignored targets will get a zero loss, the sum should not change, if you filter them out or just sum over all values.

Here is a small code snippet to demonstrate my understanding:

# Setup
output = torch.randn(10, 10, requires_grad=True)
target = torch.arange(10)

# sanity check for plain loss without ignore_index
loss_raw = F.cross_entropy(output, target, reduction='none')

loss_mean = F.cross_entropy(output, target, reduction='mean')
print(loss_raw.mean() == loss_mean)

loss_sum = F.cross_entropy(output, target, reduction='sum')
print(loss_raw.sum() == loss_sum)

# Case 2: ignore_index=0, reduction='mean'
loss_raw_ignore = F.cross_entropy(
    output, target, reduction='none', ignore_index=0)

loss_mean_ignore = F.cross_entropy(
    output, target, reduction='mean', ignore_index=0)
print(loss_mean_ignore == loss_raw_ignore[loss_raw_ignore!=0].mean())

# Check gradients
output.grad = None
g0 = output.grad.clone()

output.grad = None
g1 = output.grad.clone()
print((g0 == g1).all())

# Case 3: ignore_index=0, reduction='sum'
loss_sum_ignore = F.cross_entropy(
    output, target, reduction='sum', ignore_index=0)
print(loss_sum_ignore == loss_raw_ignore.sum())

# Check gradients
output.grad = None
g0 = output.grad.clone()

output.grad = None
g1 = output.grad.clone()

output.grad = None
g2 = output.grad.clone()
print((g0 == g1).all() and (g0 == g2).all())

Let me know, if I’m missing something.


Thank you that’s great info! :slight_smile:

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