Constraints on Network Construction Using Python


MindSpore can compile user source code based on the Python syntax into computational graphs, and can convert common functions or instances inherited from nn.Cell into computational graphs. Currently, MindSpore does not support conversion of any Python source code into computational graphs. Therefore, there are constraints on source code compilation, including syntax constraints and network definition constraints. As MindSpore evolves, the constraints may change.

Syntax Constraints

Supported Python Data Types

  • Number: supports int, float, and bool. Complex numbers are not supported.

  • String

  • List: supports the append method only. Updating a list will generate a new list.

  • Tuple

  • Dictionary: The type of key should be String.

MindSpore Extended Data Type

  • Tensor: Tensor variables must be defined instances.

Expression Types

Operation Description
Unary operator +,-, andnot. The operator + supports only scalars.
Binary operator +, -, *, /, %, ** and //
if expression For example, a = x if x < y else y.
Comparison expression >, >=, <, <=, ==, and ! =.
Logical expression and and or.
lambda expression For example, lambda x, y: x + y.
Reserved keyword type True, False, and None.

Statement Types

Statement Compared with Python
for Nested for loops are partially supported. Iteration sequences must be tuples or lists.
while Nested while loops are partially supported.
if Same as that in Python. The input of the if condition must be a constant.
def Same as that in Python.
in Only support Dictionary.
not in Only support Dictionary.
Assignment statement Accessed multiple subscripts of lists and dictionaries cannot be used as l-value.

System Functions

  • len

  • partial

  • map

  • zip

  • range

Function Parameters

  • Default parameter value: The data types int, float, bool, None, str, tuple, list, and dict are supported, whereas Tensor is not supported.

  • Variable parameter: Functions with variable arguments is supported for training and inference.

  • Key-value pair parameter: Functions with key-value pair parameters cannot be used for backward propagation on computational graphs.

  • Variable key-value pair parameter: Functions with variable key-value pairs cannot be used for backward propagation on computational graphs.


Operator Supported Type
+ Scalar, Tensor, tuple and string
- Scalar and Tensor
* Scalar and Tensor
/ Scalar and Tensor
** Scalar and Tensor
// Scalar and Tensor
% Scalar and Tensor
[] The operation object type can be list, tuple, or Tensor. Accessed multiple subscripts of lists and dictionaries can be used as r-values instead of l-values. The index type cannot be Tensor. For details about access constraints for the tuple and Tensor types, see the description of slicing operations.

Index operation

The index operation includes tuple and Tensor. The following focuses on the index value assignment and assignment operation of Tensor. The value takestensor_x [index]as an example, and the assignment takes tensor_x [index] = u as an example for detailed description. Among them, tensor_x is a Tensor, which is sliced; index means the index, u means the assigned value, which can be scalar or Tensor (size = 1). The index types are as follows:

  • Slice index: index is slice

    • Value: tensor_x[start: stop: step], where Slice (start: stop: step) has the same syntax as Python, and will not be repeated here.

    • Assignment: tensor_x[start: stop: step] = u.

  • Ellipsis index: index is ellipsis

    • Value: tensor_x [...].

    • Assignment: tensor_x [...] = u.

  • Boolean constant index: index is True, index is False is not supported temporarily.

    • Value: tensor_x[True].

    • Assignment: Not supported yet.

  • Tensor index: index is Tensor

    • Value: Not supported yet.

    • Assignment: tensor_x[index] = u, index only supports Tensor of type bool.

  • None constant index: index is None

    • Value: tensor_x[None], results are consistent with numpy.

    • Assignment: Not supported yet.

  • tuple index: index is tuple

    • The tuple element is a slice:

      • Value: for example tensor_x[::,: 4, 3: 0: -1].

      • Assignment: for example tensor_x[::,: 4, 3: 0: -1] = u.

    • The tuple element is Number:

      • Value: for example tensor_x[2,1].

      • Assignment: for example tensor_x[1,4] = u.

    • The tuple element is a mixture of slice and ellipsis:

      • Value: for example tensor_x[..., ::, 1:].

      • Assignment: for example tensor_x[..., ::, 1:] = u.

    • Not supported in other situations

In addition, tuple also supports slice value operation, tuple_x [start: stop: step], which has the same effect as Python, and will not be repeated here.

Unsupported Syntax

Currently, the following syntax is not supported in network constructors: break, continue, pass, raise, yield, async for, with, async with, assert, import, and await.

Network Definition Constraints

Instance Types on the Entire Network

  • Common Python function with the @ms_function decorator.

  • Cell subclass inherited from nn.Cell.

Network Input Type

  • The training data input parameters of the entire network must be of the Tensor type.

  • The generated ANF diagram cannot contain the following constant nodes: string constants, constants with nested tuples, and constants with nested lists.

Network Graph Optimization

During graph optimization at the ME frontend, the dataclass, dictionary, list, and key-value pair types are converted to tuple types, and the corresponding operations are converted to tuple operations.

Network Construction Components

Category Content
Cell instance mindspore/nn/*, and custom Cell.
Member function of a Cell instance Member functions of other classes in the construct function of Cell can be called.
Function Custom Python functions and system functions listed in the preceding content.
Dataclass instance Class decorated with @dataclass.
Primitive operator mindspore/ops/operations/*.
Composite operator mindspore/ops/composite/*.
Operator generated by constexpr Uses the value generated by @constexpr to calculate operators.

Other Constraints

Input parameters of the construct function on the entire network and parameters of functions modified by the ms_function decorator are generalized during the graph compilation. Therefore, they cannot be transferred to operators as constant input, as shown in the following example:

  • The following is an example of incorrect input:

    class ExpandDimsTest(Cell):
        def __init__(self):
            super(ExpandDimsTest, self).__init__()
            self.expandDims = P.ExpandDims()
        def construct(self, input_x, input_axis):
            return self.expandDims(input_x, input_axis)
    expand_dim = ExpandDimsTest()
    input_x = Tensor(np.random.randn(2,2,2,2).astype(np.float32))
    expand_dim(input_x, 0)

    In the example, ExpandDimsTest is a single-operator network with two inputs: input_x and input_axis. The second input of the ExpandDims operator must be a constant. This is because input_axis is required when the output dimension of the ExpandDims operator is deduced during graph compilation. As the network parameter input, the value of input_axis is generalized into a variable and cannot be determined. As a result, the output dimension of the operator cannot be deduced, causing the graph compilation failure. Therefore, the input required by deduction in the graph compilation phase must be a constant. In APIs, the “constant input is needed” is marked for parameters that require constant input of these operators.

  • Directly enter the needed value or a member variable in a class for the constant input of the operator in the construct function. The following is an example of correct input:

    class ExpandDimsTest(Cell):
        def __init__(self, axis):
            super(ExpandDimsTest, self).__init__()
            self.expandDims = P.ExpandDims()
            self.axis = axis
        def construct(self, input_x):
            return self.expandDims(input_x, self.axis)
    axis = 0
    expand_dim = ExpandDimsTest(axis)
    input_x = Tensor(np.random.randn(2,2,2,2).astype(np.float32))