Module is the core abstraction provided by Sonnet.

By organising your code into Module subclasses, it is easy to keep track of variables and deal with common tasks such as locating model parameters and checkpointing state. Module also helps with debugging, adding a tf.name_scope around each method, making tools like TensorBoard even more useful.

Sonnet ships with many predefined modules (e.g. Linear, Conv2D, BatchNorm) and some predefined networks of modules (e.g. nets.MLP). If you can’t find what you’re looking for then we encourage you to subclass Module and implement your ideas.

Using built-in modules

Using built in modules is as easy as using any other Python object:

>>> linear = snt.Linear(output_size=10)
>>> linear(tf.ones([8, 28 * 28]))
<tf.Tensor: ... shape=(8, 10), dtype=float32, ... dtype=float32)>

You can get access to the modules parameters using the trainable_variables property, note that most modules only create parameters the first time they are called with an input:

>>> linear.trainable_variables
(<tf.Variable 'linear/b:0' shape=(10,) ...>,
 <tf.Variable 'linear/w:0' shape=(784, 10) ...>)

Some modules contain references to other modules, Sonnet provides a convenient way to find these referenced modules:

>>> mlp = snt.nets.MLP([1000, 10])
>>> mlp(tf.ones([1, 1]))
<tf.Tensor: ...>
>>> [ for s in mlp.submodules]
['linear_0', 'linear_1']

Writing your own modules

To create your own module simply subclass Module and implement your logic. For example we can build our own simple multi-layer perceptron module by reusing the built in Linear modules and tf.nn.relu to add a non-linearity:

>>> class MyMLP(snt.Module):
...   def __init__(self, name=None):
...     super(MyMLP, self).__init__(name=name)
...     self.hidden1 = snt.Linear(1024, name="hidden1")
...     self.output = snt.Linear(10, name="output")
...   def __call__(self, x):
...     x = self.hidden1(x)
...     x = tf.nn.relu(x)
...     x = self.output(x)
...     return x

You can use your module like you would any other Python object:

>>> mlp = MyMLP()
>>> mlp(tf.random.normal([8, 28 * 28]))
<tf.Tensor: ... shape=(8, 10), ...>

Additionally, the variable and submodule tracking features of Module will work without any additional code:

>>> mlp.trainable_variables
(<tf.Variable 'my_mlp/hidden1/b:0' shape=(1024,) ...>,
 <tf.Variable 'my_mlp/hidden1/w:0' shape=(784, 1024) ...>,
 <tf.Variable 'my_mlp/output/b:0' shape=(10,) ...>,
 <tf.Variable 'my_mlp/output/w:0' shape=(1024, 10) ...>)
>>> mlp.submodules
(Linear(output_size=1024, name='hidden1'),
 Linear(output_size=10, name='output'))

It is often useful to defer some one-time initialization until your module is first used. For example in a linear layer the shape of the weights matrix depends on the input shape and the desired output shape.

Sonnet provides the once() dectorator that means a given method is evaluated once and only once per instance, regardless of other arguments. For example we can build a simple linear layer like so:

class MyLinear(snt.Module):
  def __init__(self, output_size):
    super(MyLinear, self).__init__()
    self.output_size = output_size

  def _initialize(self, inputs):
    input_size = inputs.shape[1]
    self.w = tf.Variable(tf.random.normal([input_size, self.output_size]))
    self.b = tf.Variable(tf.zeros([self.output_size]))

  def __call__(self, inputs):
    return tf.matmul(inputs, self.w) + self.b