Optimizers supported by the PyTorch Framework: In depth guide

August 5, 2022

Currently, PyTorch is regarded as one of the best and quickly progressing deep learning frameworks. It is extremely easy to use for developers because the deep learning framework can easily amalgamate multiple algorithms, classes, and methods in one single line of code.

In this article, we are going to discuss the optimizers supported by the PyTorch deep learning framework. Till now, we use computed gradients to manually update the parameters which are okay up to two parameters. Yet, when it comes to real-world usage, we will have to face a lot of different parameters for which it is not practically possible to write an optimizer algorithm every time. That is the reason why we make use of PyTorch optimizers such as Adagrad or SGD.

The PyTorch optimizers can also decrease the error rate while we train the neural networks but before that, we also need to understand what is an optimizer and the different types of Optimizers available in PyTorch along with their Syntax.

What is an Optimizer?

While training the neural networks, initially the weight of it is randomly adjusted and after that, they are updated at each stage in such a manner that will help them increase the preciseness of the entire network. In every stage, the result of the training data is juxtaposed with the actual data and the loss functions are included to measure the error and at last, the weight is reconditioned accordingly. 

Nevertheless, how should we know the method of reconditioning the weight so that it can increase the overall accuracy, where you need to get a perfect weight while evaluating the loss function. The process of evaluation is known as Optimizer.

A popular and commonly utilized optimizer is Gradient Descent and more importantly, it is also applied for practical purposes. PyTorch has various optimizers which you will be able to find in the PyTorch library.

How can you use PyTorch Optimizers?

A lot of people do know or understand that the PyTorch can be used for the advancement of the general slope. Moreover, you can also find out the limit or minimum subjectivity complex enhancement goals using PyTorch but you also need to find out the reasons why you are required to do this. Below you will be able to find three valid justifications for the same:

  • As you are already acquainted with the entire PyTorch system you may not want to utilize another streamlining system.
  • You may have to make use of high-level evaluators such as Adam distinguished in PyTorch.
  • You need to amplify the results from a PyTorch model.

Different types of PyTorch optimizers

In this section, we will discuss different types of PyTorch optimizers and their syntax

  • Adam Class
  • Adamax Class
  • ASGD class
  • SGD Class
  • AdaDelta Class
  • Rprop Class
  • AdaGrad Class
  • RMSprop Class
  • AdamW Class
  • LBFGS class
  • SparseAdam Class


Torch.optim is a popular PyTorch optimizer that contains multiple optimizing algorithms. The most common method of optimization is supported by this particular PyTorch package and its interface is also very simplistic so that as a developer you can add the complex one soon.

To use the torch.optim as an optimizer, you will need to create an optimizer body that will be able to grasp the contemporary state and can also improve the parameters depending on the gradients.

The syntax for the torch.optim is:

import torch.optim as optim

 SGD_optimizer = optim.SGD(model.parameters(), lr=0.001, momentum=0.7)

 ## or

Adam_optimizer = optim.Adam([var1, var2], lr=0.001)

AdaDelta Class

The algorithms included in the AdaDelta class were first introduced in the paper ADADELTA: An Adaptive Learning Rate Method. In the AdaDelta Class, you will not require a primary learning rate constant, to initiate the process. Moreover, you can also use the AdaDelta Class by defining a function and you won’t require a torch method for the same:

def Adadelta(weights, sqrs, deltas, rho, batch_size):

     eps_stable = 1e-5

     for weight, sqr, the delta in zip(weights, sqrs, deltas):

         g = weight.grad / batch_size

         sqr[:] = rho * sqr + (1. - rho) * nd.square(g)

         cur_delta = nd.sqrt(delta + eps_stable) / nd.sqrt(sqr + eps_stable) * g

         delta[:] = rho * delta + (1. - rho) * cur_delta * cur_delta

         # update weight in place.

         weight[:] -= cur_delta

Using PyTorch optimizer you will be able to do the same but you will only need a solitary code. The syntax in this case is:

torch.optim.Adadelta(params, lr=1.0, rho=0.9, eps=1e-06, weight_decay=0)

AdaGrad Class

AdaGrad is the short form of adaptive gradient and it disciplines the training rate for the parameters which are routinely updated. Alternatively, it provides sparse parameters for a better learning rate (which are the parameters that are updated very frequently). You will be able to implement it without any class using the following syntax:

def Adagrad(data):

   gradient_sums = np.zeros(theta.shape[0])

    for t in range(num_iterations):

        gradients = compute_gradients(data, weights)

        gradient_sums += gradients ** 2

        gradient_update = gradients / (np.sqrt(gradient_sums + epsilon))

        weights = weights - lr * gradient_update

    return weights


In lots of cases, the most critical detail that is available in the data is not very frequent so in case your usage is intricately related to the sparse data then AdaGrad can be very useful for you. You will be able to utilize the following command or syntax to call the algorithm (with the assistance of a torch):

torch.optim.Adagrad(params, lr=0.01, lr_decay=0, weight_decay=0, initial_accumulator_value=0, eps=1e-10)

You also need to note that AdaGrad has certain drawbacks such as computationally it is very costly and the training rate can also decrease significantly which in turn can make your training progress very slow.

Adam Class

Adam or Adaptive Moment Estimation is regarded as one of the frequently used optimizers and it can amalgamate the better properties of RMSprop Optimizer and Adadelta into one single optimizer and performs well in lots of cases. To call this class you can use the syntax mentioned below:

torch.optim.Adam(params, lr=0.001, betas=(0.9, 0.999), eps=1e-08, weight_decay=0, amsgrad=False)

AdamW Class

AdamW class is an improved and updated version of the Adam Class in which the parameters are perfectly controlled and then the weight decay is carried out. The weight decay in AdamW class is not limited to the operational averages and the results are equally comparable to the weight itself. 

In practical terms, AdamW yields far improved results than the models that have trained with Adam Class. The syntax for AdamW class is:

torch.optim.AdamW(params, lr=0.001, betas=(0.9, 0.999), eps=1e-08, weight_decay=0.01, amsgrad=False)

SparseAdam Class

SparseAdam is referred to as the ‘lazy version’ of the Adam algorithm that is best suited for sparse. In this PyTorch optimizer, only the moments that are displayed in the gradient receive improvements, and only the updated parts of the gradient are finally applied to the parameters. You can use the below optimizer syntax for the same:

torch.optim.SparseAdam(params, lr=0.001, betas=(0.9, 0.999), eps=1e-08)

Adamax Class

Adamax Class mainly executes the Adamax algorithm (which is a subtype of Adam aided infinity norm). For Adamax Class implementation, you can check out the paper titled Adam: A Method for Stochastic Optimization. Check out the Adamax class syntax mentioned below:

torch.optim.Adamax(params, lr=0.002, betas=(0.9, 0.999), eps=1e-08, weight_decay=0)


LBFGS class, which is substantially inspired by minFunc(minFunc – an unconstrained miscellaneous intricate optimization tool in Matlab) is responsible for implementing the L-BFGS algorithm. . You can call this using the torch method syntax as represented below:

torch.optim.LBFGS(params, lr=1, max_iter=20, max_eval=None, tolerance_grad=1e-07, tolerance_change=1e-09, history_size=100, line_search_fn=None)

RMSprop Class

RMSprop implements its RMSprop algorithm, which was originally proposed by G. Hinton as part of his courses. The centered version makes its first appearance in Generating Sequences With Recurrent Neural Networks.  Here is the syntax for RMSprop class:

torch.optim.RMSprop(params, lr=0.01, alpha=0.99, eps=1e-08, weight_decay=0, momentum=0, centered=False)

Rprop class

Rprop is tasked with the implementation of the irrepressible backpropagation algorithm.  Here is the syntax for Rprop class:

torch.optim.Rprop(params, lr=0.01, etas=(0.5, 1.2), step_sizes=(1e-06, 50))

SGD Class

SGD implements the stochastic gradient descent (in option with momentum). Nesterov momentum gets its prediction based on the formula derived from the necessity of runtime and speed in deep learning.

 def SGD(data, batch_size, lr):

    N = len(data)


    mini_batches = np.array([data[i:i+batch_size]

     for i in range(0, N, batch_size)])

    for X,y in mini_batches:

        backprop(X, y, lr)

SGD class usage for PyTorch:

 torch.optim.SGD(params, lr=<required parameter>, momentum=0, dampening=0, weight_decay=0, nesterov=False)


optimizer = torch.optim.SGD(model.parameters(), lr=0.1, momentum=0.9)


loss_fn(model(input), target).backward()


Stochastic gradient descent is considered fundamental, which is why it isn’t used much in the present times. One issue here is with the global training rate that is connected to an equivalent. This makes it difficult to work well, the parameters being on several scales. While a coffee training rate will turn the training slow, a monumental training rate may cause oscillations. You also need to note that Stochastic gradient descent usually has a tough time getting out of the saddle points. 

ADAM, RMSprop, Adadelta, and Adagrad are known to handle saddle points in a superior way. SGD with momentum grants flexibility to the optimization, additionally helping it break free from the local minima.

ASGD class

ASGD Class is known for implementing the Averaged Stochastic Gradient Descent(ASGD) algorithm. It was proposed in the paper titled Acceleration of stochastic approximation by averaging paper. Here is the syntax for ASGD class:

torch.optim.ASGD(params, lr=0.01, lambd=0.0001, alpha=0.75, t0=1000000.0, weight_decay=0)

PyTorch has already established itself as one of the most powerful tools that can help in deep learning research, data science, and business plans. You will be able to get basic information on PyTorch optimizers from PyTorch community forums where the developer community has brilliantly curated the documents. 

If you want to learn more about PyTorch and its parameters then you should enroll in a certified PyTorch course where the instructors will explain the parameters of each class in a detailed manner.

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