State of symbolic shapes branch

State of PT2: Sep 8, 2023 edition

Previous update: State of symbolic shapes branch - #67 by ezyang

We were on break for two weeks because I went on vacation, and I didn’t have time to do a report before/after vacation lol.

Executive summary

  • PyTorch 2.1 branch cut. The cut was three weeks go (right when I went on vacation lol) and we’re reaching the end of the cherry-pick window. Track ongoing cherry picks at:
  • Blueberries offsite was this week! The blueberries workstream is focused on accelerating SOTA transformer models using PT2, quantization, sparsity and other techniques. Some highlights: MFU is coming to the benchmark suite, some direct improvements to important models, int8 dynamic quantization with tensor subclasses. Many of these are not published yet, keep your eyes peeled at PTC!
  • PyTorch conference registration filling up fast. If you want to go and haven’t registered yet, you should register at PyTorch Conference | Linux Foundation Events

Composability sync

  • Aug 24 - we spent time going over recent KJT progress (to be reduxed below), and Voz reported progress on tracing FSDP with hooks (also to be reduxed below)
  • Aug 31 - not livestreamed publicly, I wasn’t there, but apparently there was some discussion about streams for tracing FSDP (no minutes alas)

Distributed and PT2

  • Tracing FSDP with Voz is deep in the weeds on backwards hooks support. We are attempting to implement hooks in a way that doesn’t require consolidated forward-backwards. The general strategy is (1) have Dynamo emit graphs that have register_hook calls on intermediates (register_hook calls on inputs must not go in the graph, they have to happen as part of residuals), (2) write these register_hook calls in such a way that when AOTAutograd runs, the actual hook code (which is arbitrary Python code and is not safe to run in tracing) is not run, but instead we run a meta function (which performs any needed metadata mutation) and then insert a call function to the original Python function (which will show up in backwards), (3) have compiled backwards take care of compiling this call function in the end.
  • Per parameter FSDP is looking pretty legit. Andrew Gu has been looking at the performance of per-parameter sharding (where parameters managed by FSDP aren’t shoved into a single flat buffer) and has found that we only really pay a penalty of 5% with per-parameter sharding but get better memory usage. Meta only: Redirecting...
  • DDP optimizer brittleness. We currently support pipelining DDP code with PT2 by manually splitting graphs into multiple AOTAutograd functions so that backwards isn’t run too soon. The code here is kind of janky: I ran into two separate bugs that only happend when optimize_ddp was on: [DDP PT2] TypeError: convert_frame_assert.<locals>._convert_frame_assert() missing 2 required positional arguments: 'hooks' and 'frame_state' · Issue #107637 · pytorch/pytorch · GitHub and [optimize_ddp] moco - NameError: name 's2' is not defined · Issue #108877 · pytorch/pytorch · GitHub . Pritam has also been complaining about the graph break strategy: torch.compile graph breaks should be independent of DDP buckets · Issue #108966 · pytorch/pytorch · GitHub Will tells me that Chien-Chin is working on some new DDP strategy, but it appears to be centered around starting with a non-parallelized graph. Hopefully we can present it at composability this week. Note that DDP cannot be easily traced as it is implemented in C++.

Dynamic shapes

Inductor fun

  • Peter Bell is very close to landing inductor IR support for scan which allows for native cumsum/cumprod support. Now all we need is for someone to add a higher order op that feeds into this and we will have torch.scan!
  • Someone should add a “realize” operator to PT2, which would force materializing a tensor rather than allowing fusions across it. Christian Puhrsch would find this useful for ensuring epilogue fusion occurs on int8 mm (today, regular fusion causes the pointwise operation to get fused into a later reduction, instead of fusing the pointwise into the matmul)
  • ABI compatibility for AOT Inductor is continuing to proceed apace slowly, but one agreement is that we’re probably going to also only have the ABI compatible codegen for OSS as well.


  • Flash Attention 2 is close to landing: Flash Attention v2 by drisspg · Pull Request #105602 · pytorch/pytorch · GitHub but it is currently stuck because it takes a lot of memory to compile, causing CI problems.
  • In the PT2 weekly meeting, we discussed H100 benchmarking. There are a lot of interlocking parts to this: we need to upgrade Triton to get their H100 improvements, and not everyone on the PyTorch team has access to an H100. Still looking for someone to sign up for this.
  • CUDA graph updates are a thing now: 1. Introduction — CUDA C Programming Guide There may be some opportunities here. Elias says: “It mostly helps with eliding input copies. For the most part, removing input copies only really matters when you torch.compile only part of your model and leave the rest of the model in eager. This use case is pretty unlikely to train well anyway since you’ll still need to bifurcate the memory pool.” However, personally, I also think CUDA graph updates could be pretty useful for allowing you to deallocate the pool of memory needed by a CUDA graph, only reallocating it when it’s time to run the CUDA graph again.


  • There was a pretty notable pytree API BC breakage which caused some internal problems: Serialize pytree to json string by angelayi · Pull Request #106116 · pytorch/pytorch · GitHub
  • Some big refactors that are in progress: refactoring skipfiles / allowed functions (talk to Yanbo), refactoring guard trees (talk to Animesh)
  • A bunch of new contributors being onboarded to Dynamo: Quansight is working more on Dynamo issues, and Jack Cao from PyTorch XLA is looking to help us with consolidated forwards-backwards-optimizer support in Dynamo as it is essential for XLA Dynamo perf.

Numbers is on break this week due to A100 runners down: apt-get install nvidia-docker2, Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend · Issue #108862 · pytorch/pytorch · GitHub

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