A thin wrapper for scriptable PyTorch modules

pip install pytorch-models==0.2.8


A Management Tool for PyTorch Modules

Build Status

This library provides a thin wrapper for pytorch modules, allowing them to be directly created from yaml/json specification files and thereby improving code readability/modularization. The library also comes with a few modules pre-implemented, so be sure to check it out.


A standard machine learning development pipeline at least consists of following steps:

  1. model development
  2. parameter optimization through experimentation
  3. application

When using pytorch to accomplish all steps above, there could be two common software engineering issues:

  1. the inability to directly create and manipulate models from a configuration file
  2. glue code (for model manipulation) repetition for different tasks (e.g. training, testing, predicting, etc.)

With this tool, one could reduce code repetition and improve code readability by just by changing a few lines of code.


pytorch-models uses strong modularization as the basic design philosophy, meaning that modules will be grouped by their extrinsic properties, i.e. input and output shapes. The initialization arguments directly reflects this design philosophy: positional arguments are reserved for parameters that influence its extrinsic behaviors and keyword arguments are reserved for parameters that are related to module-specific behaviors.

As a basic example, a multi-layer feedforward module will always take input vectors of certain dimensions and produce output vectors of certain dimensions. Those input and output parameters will be invariant, regardless of the underlying implementation. However, the number of layers, whether to use batch normalization, etc. can be varied depending on the study results.

This is a straight-forward design philosophy that we all are aware of, but this library tool will help you to strongly enforce it in all module designs.


Install this package using pip.

pip install pytorch-models


Loading Model Configurations

Suppose that you have a yaml file saved at att.yml with the following contents.

type: multiplicative-attention
  hidden_dim: 200

Following python script will create the model from the configuration file above.

import torch
import torchmodels
from torchmodels.modules import attention

model_cls = torchmodels.create_model_cls(attention, model_path="att.yml")
model = model_cls(
model(torch.randn(32, 1, 200), torch.randn(32, 1, 300)).size()
# [32 x 1 x 300] Tensor

Creating Custom Modules

Create custom modules by defining a module as a subclass of torchmodels.Module instead of torch.Module.

In order to make the library aware of the custom module, the root package must be registered using torchmodels.register_packages function. For example, let's assume that multilayer feedforward module is defined in and placed in a package structure as follows.


The following script registers the newly created module.

import torchmodels

Let's assume that the new module in has the following initialization signature.

import torchmodels

class MLP(torchmodels.Module):

    name = "some-mlp"

    def __init__(self, input_dim, output_dim, *, 
                 hidden_dim=300, num_layers=2):
        super(MLP, self).__init__()
        self.input_dim, self.output_dim = input_dim, output_dim
        self.hidden_dim = hidden_dim
        self.num_layers = num_layers


    def forward(self, x):
        return ...

Then, the configuration file only needs to specify keyword-only arguments:

# mlp.yml
type: some-mlp
  hidden_dim: 200
  num_layers: 5

The configuration file can be used to create the model initialization function, which requires user to supply with positional arguments to obtain the model, as illustrated below.

# register packages first
import models
import torchmodels


model_cls = torchmodels.create_model_cls(models.mlp, model_path="mlp.yml")
model = model_cls(5, 100)

Under the hood, create_model_cls will first search a module of the name some-mlp defined in the specified package, then fill-in keyword-only arguments with those under vargs key in the specification file.


Creating configuration files from scratch can be cumbersome. Create barebone model configuration files by calling scaffold command:

# for the previous model example
scaffold models --module-name some-mlp --save-path mlp.yml

Pre-defined Modules

There are some handy modules that can be used on the fly. These modules can be found under torchmodels.modules, and they are pre-registered through torchmodels.register_packages. Some useful modules include attention modules and pooling modules. Both modules support variable number of items across a mini-batch. Details are included in the respective abstract class docstring.