What does grad_fn=<PowBackward0> mean exactly?

Hi! I am interested in the exact meaning of grad_fn=. Thank you!!!

The simple explanation is: during the forward pass PyTorch will track the operations if one of the involved tensors requires gradients (i.e. its .requires_grad attribute it set to True) and will create a computation graph from these operations. To be able to backpropagate through this computation graph and to calculate the gradients for all involved parameters, PyTorch will additionally store the corresponding “gradient functions” (or “backward functions”) of the executed operations to the output tensor (stored as the .grad_fn attribute). Once the forward pass is done, you can then call the .backward() operation on the output (or loss) tensor, which will backpropagate through the computation graph using the functions stored in .grad_fn.
In your case the output tensor was created by a torch.pow operation and will thus have the PowBackward function attached to its .grad_fn attribute:

x = torch.randn(2, requires_grad=True)
out = torch.pow(x, 2)
# tensor([0.4651, 1.1575], grad_fn=<PowBackward0>)

# tensor([-1.3640, -2.1517])
1 Like

Thank you very much for your detailed answer!!!

1 Like