[Numpy-discussion] automatic differentiation with PyAutoDiff

srean srean.list at gmail.com
Thu Jun 14 19:18:16 EDT 2012

> Hi,
> I second James here, Theano do many of those optimizations. Only
> advanced coder can do better then Theano in most case, but that will
> take them much more time. If you find some optimization that you do
> and Theano don't, tell us. We want to add them :)
> Fred

I am sure Theano does an excellent job of expressions that matter. But
I think to get the best symbolic reduction of an expression is a hard,
as in, an AI hard problem. Correct me if I am wrong though.

 One can come up with perverse corner cases using algebraic or
trigonometric identities, expressions that are hundreds of terms long
but whose derivatives are simple, perhaps even a constant.

But all that matters is how well it does for the common cases and am
hearing that it does extremely well.

I will be happy if it can reduce simple things like  the following (a
very common form in Theano's domain)

\phi(x)  - \phi(y) - dot( x-y, \grad_phi(y))

evaluated for \phi(x) = \sum_i (x_i log x_i)  - x_i


\sum_i   x_i log(x_i / y_i) on  the set  sum(x) = sum(y) = 1

In anycase I think this is a digression and rather not pollute this
thread with peripheral (nonethless very interesting) issues.

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