In the context of probabilistic modeling, learning is usually called inference. In the particular case of Bayesian inference, this often involves computing (approximate) posterior distributions. In the case of parameterized models, this usually involves some sort of optimization. Pyro supports multiple inference algorithms, with support for stochastic variational inference (SVI) being the most extensive. Look here for more inference algorithms in future versions of Pyro.

See Intro II for a discussion of inference in Pyro.


class SVI(model, guide, optim, loss, loss_and_grads=None, *args, **kwargs)[source]

Bases: object

  • model – the model (callable containing Pyro primitives)
  • guide – the guide (callable containing Pyro primitives)
  • optim (pyro.optim.PyroOptim) – a wrapper a for a PyTorch optimizer
  • loss – this is either a string that specifies the loss function to be used (currently the only supported built-in loss is ‘ELBO’) or a user-provided loss function; in the case this is a built-in loss loss_and_grads will be filled in accordingly
  • loss_and_grads – if specified, this user-provided callable computes gradients for use in step() and marks which parameters in the param store are to be optimized

A unified interface for stochastic variational inference in Pyro. Most users will interact with SVI with the argument loss=”ELBO”. See the tutorial SVI Part I for a discussion.

evaluate_loss(*args, **kwargs)[source]
Returns:estimate of the loss
Return type:float

Evaluate the loss function. Any args or kwargs are passed to the model and guide.

step(*args, **kwargs)[source]
Returns:estimate of the loss
Return type:float

Take a gradient step on the loss function (and any auxiliary loss functions generated under the hood by loss_and_grads). Any args or kwargs are passed to the model and guide


class ELBO(num_particles=1, trace_graph=False, enum_discrete=False)[source]

Bases: object

  • num_particles – the number of particles (samples) used to form the ELBO estimator.
  • trace_graph – boolean. whether to keep track of dependency information when running the model and guide. this information can be used to form a gradient estimator with lower variance in the case that some of the random variables are non-reparameterized. note: for a model with many random variables, keeping track of the dependency information can be expensive. see the tutorial SVI Part III for a discussion.
  • enum_discrete (bool) – whether to sum over discrete latent variables, rather than sample them.

ELBO is the top-level interface for stochastic variational inference via optimization of the evidence lower bound. Most users will not interact with ELBO directly; instead they will interact with SVI. ELBO dispatches to Trace_ELBO and TraceGraph_ELBO, where the internal implementations live.


enum_discrete is a bleeding edge feature. see SS-VAE for a discussion.


[1] Automated Variational Inference in Probabilistic Programming David Wingate, Theo Weber

[2] Black Box Variational Inference, Rajesh Ranganath, Sean Gerrish, David M. Blei

loss(model, guide, *args, **kwargs)[source]

Evaluates the ELBO with an estimator that uses num_particles many samples/particles, where num_particles is specified in the constructor.

Returns:returns an estimate of the ELBO
Return type:float
loss_and_grads(model, guide, *args, **kwargs)[source]

Computes the ELBO as well as the surrogate ELBO that is used to form the gradient estimator. Performs backward on the latter. Num_particle many samples are used to form the estimators, where num_particles is specified in the constructor.

Returns:returns an estimate of the ELBO
Return type:float


class Importance(model, guide=None, num_samples=None)[source]

Bases: pyro.infer.abstract_infer.TracePosterior

  • model – probabilistic model defined as a function
  • guide – guide used for sampling defined as a function
  • num_samples – number of samples to draw from the guide (default 10)

This method performs posterior inference by importance sampling using the guide as the proposal distribution. If no guide is provided, it defaults to proposing from the model’s prior.


class Search(model, max_tries=1000000.0)[source]

Bases: pyro.infer.abstract_infer.TracePosterior

Trace and Poutine-based implementation of systematic search.

  • model (callable) – Probabilistic model defined as a function.
  • max_tries (int) – The maximum number of times to try completing a trace from the queue.