ML Community Day is November 9! Join us for updates from TensorFlow, JAX, and more Learn more


An optimizer that applies loss scaling to prevent numeric underflow.

Inherits From: Optimizer

Used in the notebooks

Used in the guide

Loss scaling is a technique to prevent numeric underflow in intermediate gradients when float16 is used. To prevent underflow, the loss is multiplied (or "scaled") by a certain factor called the "loss scale", which causes intermediate gradients to be scaled by the loss scale as well. The final gradients are divided (or "unscaled") by the loss scale to bring them back to their original value.

LossScaleOptimizer wraps another optimizer and applies loss scaling to it. By default, the loss scale is dynamically updated over time so you do not have to choose the loss scale. The minimize method automatically scales the loss, unscales the gradients, and updates the loss scale so all you have to do is wrap your optimizer with a LossScaleOptimizer if you use minimize. For example:

opt = tf.keras.optimizers.SGD(0.25)
opt = tf.keras.mixed_precision.LossScaleOptimizer(opt)
var = tf.Variable(1.)
loss_fn = lambda: var ** 2
# 'minimize' applies loss scaling and updates the loss sale.
opt.minimize(loss_fn, var_list=var)

If a tf.GradientTape is used to compute gradients instead of minimize, you must scale the loss and gradients manually. This can be done with the LossScaleOptimizer.get_scaled_loss and LossScaleOptimizer.get_unscaled_gradients methods. For example:

with tf.GradientTape() as tape:
  loss = loss_fn()
  scaled_loss = opt.get_scaled_loss(loss)
scaled_grad = tape.gradient(scaled_loss, var)
(grad,) = opt.get_unscaled_gradients([scaled_grad])
opt.apply_gradients([(grad, var)])  # Loss scale is updated here

When mixed precision with float16 is used, there is typically no risk of underflow affecting model quality if loss scaling is properly used. See the mixed precision guide for more information on how to use mixed precision.

inner_optimizer The tf.keras.optimizers.Optimizer instance to wrap.
dynamic Bool indicating whether dynamic loss scaling is used. Defaults to True. If True, the loss scale will be dynamically updated over time using an algorithm that keeps the loss scale at approximately its optimal value. If False, a single fixed loss scale is used and initial_scale must be specified, which is used as the loss scale. Recommended to keep as True, as choosing a fixed loss scale can be tricky. Currently, there is a small performance overhead to dynamic loss scaling compared to fixed loss scaling.
initial_scale The initial loss scale. If dynamic is True, this defaults to 2 ** 15. If dynamic is False, this must be specified and acts as the sole loss scale, as the loss scale does not change over time. When dynamic loss scaling is used, is better for this to be a very high number, because a loss scale that is too high gets lowered far more quickly than a loss scale that is too low gets raised.
dynamic_growth_steps With dynamic loss scaling, every dynamic_growth_steps steps with finite gradients, the loss scale is doubled. Defaults to 2000. If a nonfinite gradient is encountered, the count is reset back to zero, gradients are skipped that step, and the loss scale is halved. The c