Build Your Own LSTM Model Using TensorFlow: Steps to Create a Customized LSTM – TensorFlow Tutorial

By | July 20, 2020

In this tutorial, we will use tensorflow to build our own LSTM model, not use tf.nn.rnn_cell.BasicLSTMCell(). You can create a customized lstm by it.

LSTM Model

The structure of a lstm likes:

lstm structure

It contains three gats, they are:

lstm three gates

To know more about lstm, you can read:

Understand Long Short-Term Memory Network(LSTM) – LSTM Tutorial

How to build our own LSTM Model

We will create a LSTM class with tensorflow. Here is full example code.

#file name:
import tensorflow as tf
import numpy as np

class LSTM():
    num_emb: word embeddings dim, such as 200
    inputs: batch_size * time_step * dim
    def __init__(self,inputs, emb_dim, hidden_dim, sequence_length):
        self.emb_dim = emb_dim
        self.hidden_dim = hidden_dim
        self.sequence_length = sequence_length
        self.batch_size = tf.shape(inputs)[0]
        self.inputs = tf.transpose(inputs, perm=[1, 0, 2])
        with tf.variable_scope('lstm_init'):
            self.g_recurrent_unit = self.create_recurrent_unit()  # maps h_tm1 to h_t for generator
            self.g_output_unit = self.create_output_unit()  # maps h_t to o_t (output token logits)
        x0 = tf.nn.embedding_lookup(self.inputs,0)
        # Initial states, such as 100 * 200
        self.h0 = tf.zeros([self.batch_size, self.hidden_dim])
        self.h0 = tf.stack([self.h0, self.h0])
        gen_o = tf.TensorArray(dtype=tf.float32, size=self.sequence_length,
                                             dynamic_size=False, infer_shape=True)
        #x_t is current input, h_tm1 is hidden output of last cell
        def _g_recurrence(i, x_t, h_tm1, gen_o):
            h_t = self.g_recurrent_unit(x_t, h_tm1) 
            o_t = self.g_output_unit(h_t)  # batch x 200
            gen_o = gen_o.write(i, o_t)# save each hidden output
            i_next = tf.where(tf.less(i, self.sequence_length-1), i+1, self.sequence_length-1)
            x_t_next = tf.nn.embedding_lookup(self.inputs,i_next) #batch x emb_dim
            return i+1, x_t_next, h_t, gen_o
        i_l, _, h_l_t, self.gen_o = tf.while_loop(
            cond=lambda i, _1, _2, _3: i < self.sequence_length, # stop condition
            loop_vars=(tf.constant(0, dtype=tf.int32), #start condition
                       self.h0, gen_o))

        self.gen_o = self.gen_o.stack()  # seq_length x batch_size
        self.gen_o = tf.transpose(self.gen_o, perm=[1, 0, 2])  # batch_size x seq_length * 200, output
    # initialize matrix
    def init_matrix(self, shape):
        return tf.random_normal(shape, stddev=0.1)

    # initialize vector
    def init_vector(self, shape):
        return tf.zeros(shape)
    def create_recurrent_unit(self):
        # Weights and Bias for input and hidden tensor
        # input gate
        self.Wi = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.emb_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'input_gate_wi')
        self.Ui = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'input_gate_ui') = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim]), name = 'input_gate_bias')
        # forget gate
        self.Wf = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.emb_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'forget_gate_wf')
        self.Uf = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'forget_gate_wf') = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim]), name = 'forget_gate_bias')
        # ouput gate
        self.Wog = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.emb_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'output_gate_wo')
        self.Uog = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'output_gate_uo')
        self.bog = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim]), name = 'output_gate_bias')

        # control gate
        self.Wc = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.emb_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'control_gate_wc')
        self.Uc = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim, self.hidden_dim]), name = 'control_gate_uc')
        self.bc = tf.Variable(self.init_matrix([self.hidden_dim]), name = 'control_gate_bias')
        # a lstm unit, x is input, hidden_memory_tm1 is output of last cell, it contians two part (output, state)
        def unit(x, hidden_memory_tm1):
            previous_hidden_state, c_prev = tf.unstack(hidden_memory_tm1) # get output and state of last cell

            # Input Gate
            i = tf.sigmoid(
                tf.matmul(x, self.Wi) +
                tf.matmul(previous_hidden_state, self.Ui) +

            # Forget Gate
            f = tf.sigmoid(
                tf.matmul(x, self.Wf) +
                tf.matmul(previous_hidden_state, self.Uf) +

            # Output Gate
            o = tf.sigmoid(
                tf.matmul(x, self.Wog) +
                tf.matmul(previous_hidden_state, self.Uog) + self.bog

            # New Memory Cell
            c_ = tf.nn.tanh(
                tf.matmul(x, self.Wc) +
                tf.matmul(previous_hidden_state, self.Uc) + self.bc

            # Final Memory cell
            c = f * c_prev + i * c_

            # Current Hidden state
            current_hidden_state = o * tf.nn.tanh(c)
            # output
            return tf.stack([current_hidden_state, c])
        return unit
    #output of each lstm unit, you can customize it
    def create_output_unit(self):#, params:
        def unit(hidden_memory_tuple):
            hidden_state, c_prev = tf.unstack(hidden_memory_tuple)
            return hidden_state#logits

        return unit

There are some poits you should notice:

1. Set initial output and state

We set both of them are 0, you can customize them.

        # Initial states, such as 100 * 200
        self.h0 = tf.zeros([self.batch_size, self.hidden_dim])
        self.h0 = tf.stack([self.h0, self.h0])

2. tf.while_loop() is the main of lstm

To know more tf.while_loop(), you can read:

Understand TensorFlow tf.while_loop(): Repeat a Function – TensorFlow Tutorial

3. We use a tensorarray to save the output and state of each lstm cell, you should notice:

gen_o = tf.TensorArray(dtype=tf.float32, size=self.sequence_length,
                                             dynamic_size=False, infer_shape=True)

dynamic_size=False, it means gen_o is a fixed size tensorarray, meanwhile, it only can be read once.

You can read more on tensorarray.

Understand TensorFlow TensorArray: A Beginner Tutorial – TensorFlow Tutorial

4. If you want to add more gates or modify lstm gates, you can do it in unit(x, hidden_memory_tm1) function.

5. If you plan to modify the output of each lstm unit, you can edit create_output_unit(self) function.

How to use this model?

Here is an example:

custom_lstm = lstm.LSTM(x_shape, emb_dim =input_size, hidden_dim = hidden_dim, sequence_length = time_step)
output = custom_lstm.gen_o # batch_size x seq_length * 200

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