torch-rnn provides high-performance, reusable RNN and LSTM modules for torch7, and uses these modules for character-level language modeling similar to char-rnn.
You can find documentation for the RNN and LSTM modules here; they have no dependencies other than
nn, so they should be easy to integrate into existing projects.
Compared to char-rnn, torch-rnn is up to 1.9x faster and uses up to 7x less memory. For more details see the Benchmark section below.
Cristian Baldi has prepared Docker images for both CPU-only mode and GPU mode; you can find them here.
You’ll need to install the header files for Python 2.7 and the HDF5 library. On Ubuntu you should be able to install like this:
sudo apt-get -y install python2.7-dev sudo apt-get install libhdf5-dev
The preprocessing script is written in Python 2.7; its dependencies are in the file
You can install these dependencies in a virtual environment like this:
virtualenv .env # Create the virtual environment source .env/bin/activate # Activate the virtual environment pip install -r requirements.txt # Install Python dependencies # Work for a while ... deactivate # Exit the virtual environment
The main modeling code is written in Lua using torch; you can find installation instructions here. You’ll need the following Lua packages:
After installing torch, you can install / update these packages by running the following:
# Install most things using luarocks luarocks install torch luarocks install nn luarocks install optim luarocks install lua-cjson # We need to install torch-hdf5 from GitHub git clone https://github.com/deepmind/torch-hdf5 cd torch-hdf5 luarocks make hdf5-0-0.rockspec
CUDA support (Optional)
To enable GPU acceleration with CUDA, you’ll need to install CUDA 6.5 or higher and the following Lua packages:
You can install / update them by running:
luarocks install cutorch luarocks install cunn
OpenCL support (Optional)
To enable GPU acceleration with OpenCL, you’ll need to install the following Lua packages:
You can install / update them by running:
luarocks install cltorch luarocks install clnn
Jeff Thompson has written a very detailed installation guide for OSX that you can find here.
To train a model and use it to generate new text, you’ll need to follow three simple steps:
Step 1: Preprocess the data
You can use any text file for training models. Before training, you’ll need to preprocess the data using the script
scripts/preprocess.py; this will generate an HDF5 file and JSON file containing a preprocessed version of the data.
If you have training data stored in
my_data.txt, you can run the script like this:
python scripts/preprocess.py \ --input_txt my_data.txt \ --output_h5 my_data.h5 \ --output_json my_data.json
This will produce files
my_data.json that will be passed to the training script.
There are a few more flags you can use to configure preprocessing; read about them here
Step 2: Train the model
After preprocessing the data, you’ll need to train the model using the
train.lua script. This will be the slowest step.
You can run the training script like this:
th train.lua -input_h5 my_data.h5 -input_json my_data.json
This will read the data stored in
my_data.json, run for a while, and save checkpoints to files with
You can change the RNN model type, hidden state size, and number of RNN layers like this:
th train.lua -input_h5 my_data.h5 -input_json my_data.json -model_type rnn -num_layers 3 -rnn_size 256
By default this will run in GPU mode using CUDA; to run in CPU-only mode, add the flag
To run with OpenCL, add the flag
There are many more flags you can use to configure training; read about them here.
Step 3: Sample from the model
After training a model, you can generate new text by sampling from it using the script
sample.lua. Run it like this:
th sample.lua -checkpoint cv/checkpoint_10000.t7 -length 2000
This will load the trained checkpoint
cv/checkpoint_10000.t7 from the previous step, sample 2000 characters from it,
and print the results to the console.
By default the sampling script will run in GPU mode using CUDA; to run in CPU-only mode add the flag
-gpu -1 and
to run in OpenCL mode add the flag
There are more flags you can use to configure sampling; read about them here.
char-rnn, we use each to train LSTM language models for the tiny-shakespeare dataset
with 1, 2 or 3 layers and with an RNN size of 64, 128, 256, or 512. For each we use a minibatch size of 50, a sequence
length of 50, and no dropout. For each model size and for both implementations, we record the forward/backward times and
GPU memory usage over the first 100 training iterations, and use these measurements to compute the mean time and memory
All benchmarks were run on a machine with an Intel i7-4790k CPU, 32 GB main memory, and a Titan X GPU.
Below we show the forward/backward times for both implementations, as well as the mean speedup of
char-rnn. We see that
torch-rnn is faster than
char-rnn at all model sizes, with smaller models giving a larger
speedup; for a single-layer LSTM with 128 hidden units, we achieve a 1.9x speedup; for larger models we achieve about
a 1.4x speedup.
Below we show the GPU memory usage for both implementations, as well as the mean memory saving of
char-rnn at all model sizes, but here the savings become more significant for
larger models: for models with 512 hidden units, we use 7x less memory than
- Get rid of Python / JSON / HDF5 dependencies?