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Tensor Attributes
Each torch.Tensor
has a torch.dtype
, torch.device
, and torch.layout
.
torch.dtype
class torch.dtype
A torch.dtype
is an object that represents the data type of a torch.Tensor
. PyTorch has twelve different data types:
Data type 
dtype 
Legacy Constructors 

32bit floating point 


64bit floating point 


64bit complex 


128bit complex 


16bit floating point 1 


16bit floating point 2 


8bit integer (unsigned) 


8bit integer (signed) 


16bit integer (signed) 


32bit integer (signed) 


64bit integer (signed) 


Boolean 


1

Sometimes referred to as binary16: uses 1 sign, 5 exponent, and 10 significand bits. Useful when precision is important.
2

Sometimes referred to as Brain Floating Point: use 1 sign, 8 exponent and 7 significand bits. Useful when range is important, since it has the same number of exponent bits as
float32
To find out if a torch.dtype
is a floating point data type, the property is_floating_point
can be used, which returns True
if the data type is a floating point data type.
To find out if a torch.dtype
is a complex data type, the property is_complex
can be used, which returns True
if the data type is a complex data type.
When the dtypes of inputs to an arithmetic operation (add
, sub
, div
, mul
) differ, we promote by finding the minimum dtype that satisfies the following rules:
 If the type of a scalar operand is of a higher category than tensor operands (where complex > floating > integral > boolean), we promote to a type with sufficient size to hold all scalar operands of that category.
 If a zerodimension tensor operand has a higher category than dimensioned operands, we promote to a type with sufficient size and category to hold all zerodim tensor operands of that category.
 If there are no highercategory zerodim operands, we promote to a type with sufficient size and category to hold all dimensioned operands.
A floating point scalar operand has dtype torch.get_default_dtype()
and an integral nonboolean scalar operand has dtype torch.int64
. Unlike numpy, we do not inspect values when determining the minimum dtypes
of an operand. Quantized and complex types are not yet supported.
Promotion Examples:
>>> float_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.float)
>>> double_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.double)
>>> complex_float_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.complex64)
>>> complex_double_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.complex128)
>>> int_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.int)
>>> long_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.long)
>>> uint_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.uint8)
>>> double_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.double)
>>> bool_tensor = torch.ones(1, dtype=torch.bool)
# zerodim tensors
>>> long_zerodim = torch.tensor(1, dtype=torch.long)
>>> int_zerodim = torch.tensor(1, dtype=torch.int)
>>> torch.add(5, 5).dtype
torch.int64
# 5 is an int64, but does not have higher category than int_tensor so is not considered.
>>> (int_tensor + 5).dtype
torch.int32
>>> (int_tensor + long_zerodim).dtype
torch.int32
>>> (long_tensor + int_tensor).dtype
torch.int64
>>> (bool_tensor + long_tensor).dtype
torch.int64
>>> (bool_tensor + uint_tensor).dtype
torch.uint8
>>> (float_tensor + double_tensor).dtype
torch.float64
>>> (complex_float_tensor + complex_double_tensor).dtype
torch.complex128
>>> (bool_tensor + int_tensor).dtype
torch.int32
# Since long is a different kind than float, result dtype only needs to be large enough
# to hold the float.
>>> torch.add(long_tensor, float_tensor).dtype
torch.float32
When the output tensor of an arithmetic operation is specified, we allow casting to its dtype except that:

 An integral output tensor cannot accept a floating point tensor.
 A boolean output tensor cannot accept a nonboolean tensor.
 A noncomplex output tensor cannot accept a complex tensor
Casting Examples:
# allowed:
>>> float_tensor *= float_tensor
>>> float_tensor *= int_tensor
>>> float_tensor *= uint_tensor
>>> float_tensor *= bool_tensor
>>> float_tensor *= double_tensor
>>> int_tensor *= long_tensor
>>> int_tensor *= uint_tensor
>>> uint_tensor *= int_tensor
# disallowed (RuntimeError: result type can't be cast to the desired output type):
>>> int_tensor *= float_tensor
>>> bool_tensor *= int_tensor
>>> bool_tensor *= uint_tensor
>>> float_tensor *= complex_float_tensor
torch.device
class torch.device
A torch.device
is an object representing the device on which a torch.Tensor
is or will be allocated.
The torch.device
contains a device type ('cpu'
, 'cuda'
or 'mps'
) and optional device ordinal for the device type. If the device ordinal is not present, this object will always represent the current device for the device type, even after torch.cuda.set_device()
is called; e.g., a torch.Tensor
constructed with device 'cuda'
is equivalent to 'cuda:X'
where X is the result of torch.cuda.current_device()
.
A torch.Tensor
’s device can be accessed via the Tensor.device
property.
A torch.device
can be constructed via a string or via a string and device ordinal
Via a string:
>>> torch.device('cuda:0')
device(type='cuda', index=0)
>>> torch.device('cpu')
device(type='cpu')
>>> torch.device('mps')
device(type='mps')
>>> torch.device('cuda') # current cuda device
device(type='cuda')
Via a string and device ordinal:
>>> torch.device('cuda', 0)
device(type='cuda', index=0)
>>> torch.device('mps', 0)
device(type='mps', index=0)
>>> torch.device('cpu', 0)
device(type='cpu', index=0)
The device object can also be used as a context manager to change the default device tensors are allocated on:
>>> with torch.device('cuda:1'):
... r = torch.randn(2, 3)
>>> r.device
device(type='cuda', index=1)
This context manager has no effect if a factory function is passed an explicit, nonNone device argument. To globally change the default device, see also torch.set_default_device()
.
Warning
This function imposes a slight performance cost on every Python call to the torch API (not just factory functions). If this is causing problems for you, please comment on https://github.com/pytorch/pytorch/issues/92701
Note
The torch.device
argument in functions can generally be substituted with a string. This allows for fast prototyping of code.
>>> # Example of a function that takes in a torch.device
>>> cuda1 = torch.device('cuda:1')
>>> torch.randn((2,3), device=cuda1)
>>> # You can substitute the torch.device with a string
>>> torch.randn((2,3), device='cuda:1')
Note
For legacy reasons, a device can be constructed via a single device ordinal, which is treated as a cuda device. This matches Tensor.get_device()
, which returns an ordinal for cuda tensors and is not supported for cpu tensors.
>>> torch.device(1)
device(type='cuda', index=1)
Note
Methods which take a device will generally accept a (properly formatted) string or (legacy) integer device ordinal, i.e. the following are all equivalent:
>>> torch.randn((2,3), device=torch.device('cuda:1'))
>>> torch.randn((2,3), device='cuda:1')
>>> torch.randn((2,3), device=1) # legacy
torch.layout
class torch.layout
Warning
The torch.layout
class is in beta and subject to change.
A torch.layout
is an object that represents the memory layout of a torch.Tensor
. Currently, we support torch.strided
(dense Tensors) and have beta support for torch.sparse_coo
(sparse COO Tensors).
torch.strided
represents dense Tensors and is the memory layout that is most commonly used. Each strided tensor has an associated torch.Storage
, which holds its data. These tensors provide multidimensional, strided view of a storage. Strides are a list of integers: the kth stride represents the jump in the memory necessary to go from one element to the next one in the kth dimension of the Tensor. This concept makes it possible to perform many tensor operations efficiently.
Example:
>>> x = torch.tensor([[1, 2, 3, 4, 5], [6, 7, 8, 9, 10]])
>>> x.stride()
(5, 1)
>>> x.t().stride()
(1, 5)
For more information on torch.sparse_coo
tensors, see torch.sparse.
torch.memory_format
class torch.memory_format
A torch.memory_format
is an object representing the memory format on which a torch.Tensor
is or will be allocated.
Possible values are:
torch.contiguous_format
: Tensor is or will be allocated in dense nonoverlapping memory. Strides represented by values in decreasing order.torch.channels_last
: Tensor is or will be allocated in dense nonoverlapping memory. Strides represented by values instrides[0] > strides[2] > strides[3] > strides[1] == 1
aka NHWC order.torch.channels_last_3d
: Tensor is or will be allocated in dense nonoverlapping memory. Strides represented by values instrides[0] > strides[2] > strides[3] > strides[4] > strides[1] == 1
aka NDHWC order.torch.preserve_format
: Used in functions likeclone
to preserve the memory format of the input tensor. If input tensor is allocated in dense nonoverlapping memory, the output tensor strides will be copied from the input. Otherwise output strides will followtorch.contiguous_format
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https://pytorch.org/docs/2.1/tensor_attributes.html