TensorFlow Eager: A multi-stage, Python-embedded DSL for machine learning

Part of Proceedings of Machine Learning and Systems 1 (MLSys 2019)

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Authors

Akshay Agrawal, Akshay Modi, Alexandre Passos, Allen Lavoie, Ashish Agarwal, Asim Shankar, Igor Ganichev, Josh Levenberg, Mingsheng Hong, Rajat Monga, Shanqing Cai

Abstract

TensorFlow Eager is a multi-stage, Python-embedded domain-specific language for hardware-accelerated machine learning, suitable for both interactive research and production. TensorFlow, which TensorFlow Eager extends, requires users to represent computations as dataflow graphs; this permits compiler optimizations and simplifies deployment but hinders rapid prototyping and run-time dynamism. TensorFlow Eager eliminates these usability costs without sacrificing the benefits furnished by graphs: It provides an imperative front-end to TensorFlow that executes operations immediately and a JIT tracer that translates Python functions composed of TensorFlow operations into executable dataflow graphs. TensorFlow Eager thus offers a multi-stage programming model that makes it easy to interpolate between imperative and staged execution in a single package.