An automatic differentiation library for Python+NumPy.
Project description
auto_diff
An automatic differentiation library for Python+NumPy
How To Use
There are five public elements of the API:

AutoDiff
is a context manager and must be entered with a with statement. The__enter__
method returns a new version of x that must be used to instead of the x passed as a parameter to theAutoDiff
constructor. 
value
,jacobian
,get_value_and_jacobian
, these functions, which must be called in anAutoDiff
context, extract the value, Jacobian, or both from a dependent variable. 
get_value_and_jacobians
, if multiple vectors are passed in as arguments toAutoDiff
, this method returns a tuple of Jacobians wrt to the different variables.
If you are using get_value_and_jacobian
, x must be a 2D column vector, and
the value you must be parsing for the derivative must also be a 2D column
vector. In most other cases, how to convert to a Jacobian Matrix is
nonobvious. If you wish to deal with those cases see the paragraph after the
example.
auto_diff
also supports using sparse matrices instead of ndarray
s to store the Jacobians.
Simple use the SparseAutoDiff
context manager instead of AutoDiff
.
Also if you use SparseAutoDiff
, you need to verify that your code and none of nonNumPy dependencies use the np.ndarray
constructor for a floating point vector.
If using SparseAutoDiff
, get_value_and_jacobian
, jacobian
, and get_value_and_jacobians
return scipy.sparse.lil_matrix
es instead of ndarray
s.
Example
import auto_diff
import numpy as np
# Define a function f
# f can have other arguments, if they are constant wrt x
# Define the input vector, x
with auto_diff.AutoDiff(x) as x:
f_eval = f(x, u)
y, Jf = auto_diff.get_value_and_jacobian(f_eval)
# y is the value of f(x, u) and Jf is the Jacobian of f with respect to x.
If you need both the Jacobian wrt to x and u,
with auto_diff.AutoDiff(x, u) as (x, u):
f_eval = f(x, u)
y, (Jfx, Jfu) = auto_diff.get_value_and_jacobians(f_eval)
# y is the value of f(x, u), Jfx is the Jacobian of f with respect to x, and
# Jfu is the Jacobian of f with respect to u.
Finally, if f
and x
are very highdimensional, then we can use SparseAutoDiff
to save memory.
with auto_diff.SparseAutoDiff(x, u) as (x, u):
f_eval = f(x, u)
y, (Jfx, Jfu) = auto_diff.get_value_and_jacobians(f_eval)
# y is the value of f(x, u), Jfx is the Jacobian of f with respect to x, and
# Jfu is the Jacobian of f with respect to u.
# Jfx and Jfu are instances of scipy.sparse.lil_matrix.
We can also differentiate functions from arbitrarily shaped numpy arrays to
arbitrarily shaped outputs. Let y = f(x)
, where x
is a numpy array of shape
x.shape
, and y
is is the output of the function we wish to differentiate, f
.
We can then access a numpy array of shape (*y.shape, *x.shape)
, by accessing
y.der
. This represents the gradients of each component of y
with respect to
x
. To find the gradient of the norm of a vector x, for example one can do
import auto_diff
import numpy as np
x = np.array([[np.pi], [3.0], [17.0]])
with auto_diff.AutoDiff(x) as x:
print(np.linalg.norm(x).der)
Restrictions
 You must import numpy and use that object, rather then do something like
from numpy import ...
, where...
is either*
or just function names.
Crashes, Bug Reports, and Feedback:
Email parthnobel@berkeley.edu
There are missing features right now. I'm working on them, feel free to email me if you want something prioritized.
How It Works
Parth Nobel. 2020. Auto_diff: an automatic differentiation package for Python. In Proceedings of the 2020 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim '20). Society for Computer Simulation International, San Diego, CA, USA, Article 10, 1–12. https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/3408207.3408219
Prerequisite
A version of NumPy >= 1.17 may be required. Bugs on older versions have always raised errors, so there should be nothing to worry about.
Author: Parth Nobel (Github: /PTNobel, parthnobel@berkeley.edu) Version: 0.3
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