Getting Started

If you haven’t already, aquire a tarball of the library by following the instructions in Installation


Creating a TorchScript Module

Once you have a trained model you want to compile with TRTorch, you need to start by converting that model from Python code to TorchScript code. PyTorch has detailed documentation on how to do this but briefly here is the here is key background information and the process:

PyTorch programs are based around Module s which can be used to compose higher level modules. Modules contain a constructor to set up the modules, parameters and sub-modules and a forward function which describes how to use the parameters and submodules when the module is invoked.

For example, we can define a LeNet module like this:

import torch.nn as nn
import torch.nn.functional as F

class LeNetFeatExtractor(nn.Module):
    def __init__(self):
        super(LeNetFeatExtractor, self).__init__()
        self.conv1 = nn.Conv2d(1, 6, 3)
        self.conv2 = nn.Conv2d(6, 16, 3)

    def forward(self, x):
        x = F.max_pool2d(F.relu(self.conv1(x)), (2, 2))
        x = F.max_pool2d(F.relu(self.conv2(x)), 2)
        return x

class LeNetClassifier(nn.Module):
    def __init__(self):
        super(LeNetClassifier, self).__init__()
        self.fc1 = nn.Linear(16 * 6 * 6, 120)
        self.fc2 = nn.Linear(120, 84)
        self.fc3 = nn.Linear(84, 10)

    def forward(self, x):
        x = torch.flatten(x,1)
        x = F.relu(self.fc1(x))
        x = F.relu(self.fc2(x))
        x = self.fc3(x)
        return x

class LeNet(nn.Module):
    def __init__(self):
        super(LeNet, self).__init__()
        self.feat = LeNetFeatExtractor()
        self.classifer = LeNetClassifier()

    def forward(self, x):
        x = self.feat(x)
        x = self.classifer(x)
        return x


Obviously you may want to consolidate such a simple model into a single module but we can see the composability of PyTorch here

From here are two pathways for going from PyTorch Python code to TorchScript code: Tracing and Scripting.

Tracing follows the path of execution when the module is called and records what happens. To trace an instance of our LeNet module, we can call torch.jit.trace with an example input.

import torch.jit

model = LeNet()
input_data = torch.empty([1,1,32,32])
traced_model = torch.jit.trace(model, input_data)

Scripting actually inspects your code with a compiler and generates an equivalent TorchScript program. The difference is that since tracing is following the execution of your module, it cannot pick up control flow for instance. By working from the Python code, the compiler can include these components. We can run the script compiler on our LeNet module by calling torch.jit.script

import torch.jit

model = LeNet()
script_model = torch.jit.script(model)

There are reasons to use one path or another, the PyTorch documentation has information on how to choose. From a TRTorch prespective, there is better support (i.e your module is more likely to compile) for traced modules because it doesn’t include all the complexities of a complete programming language, though both paths supported.

After scripting or tracing your module, you are given back a TorchScript Module. This contains the code and parameters used to run the module stored in a intermediate representation that TRTorch can consume.

Here is what the LeNet traced module IR looks like:

graph(%self.1 : __torch__.___torch_mangle_10.LeNet,
    %input.1 : Float(1, 1, 32, 32)):
    %129 : __torch__.___torch_mangle_9.LeNetClassifier = prim::GetAttr[name="classifer"](%self.1)
    %119 : __torch__.___torch_mangle_5.LeNetFeatExtractor = prim::GetAttr[name="feat"](%self.1)
    %137 : Tensor = prim::CallMethod[name="forward"](%119, %input.1)
    %138 : Tensor = prim::CallMethod[name="forward"](%129, %137)
    return (%138)

and the LeNet scripted module IR:

graph(%self : __torch__.LeNet,
    %x.1 : Tensor):
    %2 : __torch__.LeNetFeatExtractor = prim::GetAttr[name="feat"](%self)
    %x.3 : Tensor = prim::CallMethod[name="forward"](%2, %x.1) #
    %5 : __torch__.LeNetClassifier = prim::GetAttr[name="classifer"](%self)
    %x.5 : Tensor = prim::CallMethod[name="forward"](%5, %x.3) #
    return (%x.5)

You can see that the IR preserves the module structure we have in our python code.

Working with TorchScript in Python

TorchScript Modules are run the same way you run normal PyTorch modules. You can run the forward pass using the forward method or just calling the module torch_scirpt_module(in_tensor) The JIT compiler will compile and optimize the module on the fly and then returns the results.

Saving TorchScript Module to Disk

For either traced or scripted modules, you can save the module to disk with the following command

import torch.jit

model = LeNet()
script_model = torch.jit.script(model)"lenet_scripted.ts")

Using TRTorch

Now that there is some understanding of TorchScript and how to use it, we can now complete the pipeline and compile our TorchScript into TensorRT accelerated TorchScript. Unlike the PyTorch JIT compiler, TRTorch is an Ahead-of-Time (AOT) compiler. This means that unlike with PyTorch where the JIT compiler compiles from the high level PyTorch IR to kernel implementation at runtime, modules that are to be compiled with TRTorch are compiled fully before runtime (consider how you use a C compiler for an analogy). TRTorch has 3 main interfaces for using the compiler. You can use a CLI application similar to how you may use GCC called trtorchc , or you can embed the compiler in a model freezing application / pipeline.

[TRTorch Quickstart] Compiling TorchScript Modules with trtorchc

An easy way to get started with TRTorch and to check if your model can be supported without extra work is to run it through trtorchc , which supports almost all features of the compiler from the command line including post training quantization (given a previously created calibration cache). For example we can compile our lenet model by setting our preferred operating precision and input size. This new TorchScript file can be loaded into Python (note: you need to import trtorch before loading these compiled modules because the compiler extends the PyTorch the deserializer and runtime to execute compiled modules).

❯ trtorchc -p f16 lenet_scripted.ts trt_lenet_scripted.ts "(1,1,32,32)"

❯ python3
Python 3.6.9 (default, Apr 18 2020, 01:56:04)
[GCC 8.4.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import torch
>>> import trtorch
>>> ts_model = torch.jit.load(“trt_lenet_scripted.ts”)
>>> ts_model(torch.randn((1,1,32,32)).to(“cuda”).half())

You can learn more about trtorchc usage here: trtorchc

Compiling with TRTorch in Python

To compile your TorchScript module with TRTorch embedded into Python, all you need to do is provide the module and some compiler settings to TRTorch and you will be returned an optimized TorchScript module to run or add into another PyTorch module. The only required setting is the input size or input range which is defined as a list of either list types like lists , tuples or PyTorch size objects or dictionaries of minimum, optimial and maximum sizes. You can also specify settings such as operating precision for the engine or target device. After compilation you can save the module just like any other module to load in a deployment application. In order to load a TensorRT/TorchScript module, make sure you first import trtorch .

import trtorch


script_model.eval() # torch module needs to be in eval (not training) mode

compile_settings = {
    "inputs": [trtorch.Input(
            min_shape=[1, 1, 16, 16],
            opt_shape=[1, 1, 32, 32],
            max_shape=[1, 1, 64, 64],
    "enable_precisions": {torch.float, torch.half} # Run with fp16

trt_ts_module = trtorch.compile(script_model, compile_settings)

input_data ='cuda').half()
result = trt_ts_module(input_data), "trt_ts_module.ts")
# Deployment application
import torch
import trtorch

trt_ts_module = torch.jit.load("trt_ts_module.ts")
input_data ='cuda').half()
result = trt_ts_module(input_data)

Working with TorchScript in C++

If we are developing an application to deploy with C++, we can save either our traced or scripted module using which will serialize the TorchScript code, weights and other information into a package. This is also where our dependency on Python ends."")

From here we can now load our TorchScript module in C++

#include <torch/script.h> // One-stop header.

#include <iostream>
#include <memory>

int main(int argc, const char* argv[]) {
    torch::jit::Module module;
    try {
        // Deserialize the ScriptModule from a file using torch::jit::load().
        module = torch::jit::load("<PATH TO SAVED TS MOD>");
    catch (const c10::Error& e) {
        std::cerr << "error loading the model\n";
        return -1;

    std::cout << "ok\n";

You can do full training and inference in C++ with PyTorch / LibTorch if you would like, you can even define your modules in C++ and have access to the same powerful tensor library that backs PyTorch. (For more information: ). For instance we can do inference with our LeNet module like this:

torch::Tensor in = torch::randn({1, 1, 32, 32});
auto out = mod.forward(in);

and to run on the GPU:

torch::Tensor in = torch::randn({1, 1, 32, 32}, torch::kCUDA);
auto out = mod.forward(in);

As you can see it is pretty similar to the Python API. When you call the forward method, you invoke the PyTorch JIT compiler, which will optimize and run your TorchScript code.

Compiling with TRTorch in C++

We are also at the point were we can compile and optimize our module with TRTorch, but instead of in a JIT fashion we must do it ahead-of-time (AOT) i.e. before we start doing actual inference work since it takes a bit of time to optimize the module, it would not make sense to do this every time you run the module or even the first time you run it.

With out module loaded, we can feed it into the TRTorch compiler. When we do so we must provide some information on the expected input size and also configure any additional settings.

#include "torch/script.h"
#include "trtorch/trtorch.h"

    auto in = torch::randn({1, 1, 32, 32}, {torch::kCUDA});
    auto trt_mod = trtorch::CompileGraph(mod, std::vector<trtorch::CompileSpec::InputRange>{{in.sizes()}});
    auto out = trt_mod.forward({in});

Thats it! Now the graph runs primarily not with the JIT compiler but using TensorRT (though we execute the graph using the JIT runtime).

We can also set settings like operating precision to run in FP16.

#include "torch/script.h"
#include "trtorch/trtorch.h"

    auto in = torch::randn({1, 1, 32, 32}, {torch::kCUDA}).to(torch::kHALF);
    auto input_sizes = std::vector<trtorch::CompileSpec::InputRange>({in.sizes()});
    trtorch::CompileSpec info(input_sizes);
    auto trt_mod = trtorch::CompileGraph(mod, info);
    auto out = trt_mod.forward({in});

And now we are running the module in FP16 precision. You can then save the module to load later."<PATH TO SAVED TRT/TS MOD>")

TRTorch compiled TorchScript modules are loaded in the same way as normal TorchScript module. Make sure your deployment application is linked against

#include "torch/script.h"
#include "trtorch/trtorch.h"

int main(int argc, const char* argv[]) {
    torch::jit::Module module;
    try {
        // Deserialize the ScriptModule from a file using torch::jit::load().
        module = torch::jit::load("<PATH TO SAVED TRT/TS MOD>");
    catch (const c10::Error& e) {
        std::cerr << "error loading the model\n";
        return -1;

    torch::Tensor in = torch::randn({1, 1, 32, 32}, torch::kCUDA);
    auto out = mod.forward(in);

    std::cout << "ok\n";

If you want to save the engine produced by TRTorch to use in a TensorRT application you can use the ConvertGraphToTRTEngine API.

#include "torch/script.h"
#include "trtorch/trtorch.h"

    auto in = torch::randn({1, 1, 32, 32}, {torch::kCUDA}).to(torch::kHALF);
    auto input_sizes = std::vector<trtorch::CompileSpec::InputRange>({in.sizes()});
    trtorch::CompileSpec info(input_sizes);
    auto trt_mod = trtorch::ConvertGraphToTRTEngine(mod, "forward", info);
    std::ofstream out("/tmp/engine_converted_from_jit.trt");
    out << engine;

Under The Hood

When a module is provided to TRTorch, the compiler starts by mapping a graph like you saw above to a graph like this:

graph(%input.2 : Tensor):
    %2 : Float(84, 10) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %3 : Float(120, 84) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %4 : Float(576, 120) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %5 : int = prim::Constant[value=-1]() #
    %6 : int[] = prim::Constant[value=annotate(List[int], [])]()
    %7 : int[] = prim::Constant[value=[2, 2]]()
    %8 : int[] = prim::Constant[value=[0, 0]]()
    %9 : int[] = prim::Constant[value=[1, 1]]()
    %10 : bool = prim::Constant[value=1]() # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/modules/
    %11 : int = prim::Constant[value=1]() # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %12 : bool = prim::Constant[value=0]() # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %self.classifer.fc3.bias : Float(10) = prim::Constant[value= 0.0464  0.0383  0.0678  0.0932  0.1045 -0.0805 -0.0435 -0.0818  0.0208 -0.0358 [ CUDAFloatType{10} ]]()
    %self.classifer.fc2.bias : Float(84) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %self.classifer.fc1.bias : Float(120) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %self.feat.conv2.weight : Float(16, 6, 3, 3) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %self.feat.conv2.bias : Float(16) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %self.feat.conv1.weight : Float(6, 1, 3, 3) = prim::Constant[value=<Tensor>]()
    %self.feat.conv1.bias : Float(6) = prim::Constant[value= 0.0530 -0.1691  0.2802  0.1502  0.1056 -0.1549 [ CUDAFloatType{6} ]]()
    %input0.4 : Tensor = aten::_convolution(%input.2, %self.feat.conv1.weight, %self.feat.conv1.bias, %9, %8, %9, %12, %8, %11, %12, %12, %10) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/modules/
    %input0.5 : Tensor = aten::relu(%input0.4) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %input1.2 : Tensor = aten::max_pool2d(%input0.5, %7, %6, %8, %9, %12) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %input0.6 : Tensor = aten::_convolution(%input1.2, %self.feat.conv2.weight, %self.feat.conv2.bias, %9, %8, %9, %12, %8, %11, %12, %12, %10) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/modules/
    %input2.1 : Tensor = aten::relu(%input0.6) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %x.1 : Tensor = aten::max_pool2d(%input2.1, %7, %6, %8, %9, %12) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %input.1 : Tensor = aten::flatten(%x.1, %11, %5) #
    %27 : Tensor = aten::matmul(%input.1, %4)
    %28 : Tensor = trt::const(%self.classifer.fc1.bias)
    %29 : Tensor = aten::add_(%28, %27, %11)
    %input0.2 : Tensor = aten::relu(%29) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %31 : Tensor = aten::matmul(%input0.2, %3)
    %32 : Tensor = trt::const(%self.classifer.fc2.bias)
    %33 : Tensor = aten::add_(%32, %31, %11)
    %input1.1 : Tensor = aten::relu(%33) # ~/.local/lib/python3.6/site-packages/torch/nn/
    %35 : Tensor = aten::matmul(%input1.1, %2)
    %36 : Tensor = trt::const(%self.classifer.fc3.bias)
    %37 : Tensor = aten::add_(%36, %35, %11)
    return (%37)

The graph has now been transformed from a collection of modules, each managing their own parameters into a single graph with the parameters inlined into the graph and all of the operations laid out. TRTorch has also executed a number of optimizations and mappings to make the graph easier to translate to TensorRT. From here the compiler can assemble the TensorRT engine by following the dataflow through the graph.

When the graph construction phase is complete, TRTorch produces a serialized TensorRT engine. From here depending on the API, this engine is returned to the user or moves into the graph construction phase. Here TRTorch creates a JIT Module to execute the TensorRT engine which will be instantiated and managed by the TRTorch runtime.

Here is the graph that you get back after compilation is complete:

graph(%self_1 : __torch__.lenet, %input_0 : Tensor):
    %1 : ...trt.Engine = prim::GetAttr[name="lenet"](%self_1)
    %3 : Tensor[] = prim::ListConstruct(%input_0)
    %4 : Tensor[] = trt::execute_engine(%3, %1)
    %5 : Tensor = prim::ListUnpack(%4)
    return (%5)

You can see the call where the engine is executed, after extracting the attribute containing the engine and constructing a list of inputs, then returns the tensors back to the user.

Working with Unsupported Operators

TRTorch is a new library and the PyTorch operator library is quite large, so there will be ops that aren’t supported natively by the compiler. You can either use the composition techinques shown above to make modules are fully TRTorch supported and ones that are not and stitch the modules together in the deployment application or you can register converters for missing ops.

You can check support without going through the full compilation pipleine using the trtorch::CheckMethodOperatorSupport(const torch::jit::Module& module, std::string method_name) api to see what operators are not supported. trtorchc automatically checks modules with this method before starting compilation and will print out a list of operators that are not supported.

Registering Custom Converters

Operations are mapped to TensorRT through the use of modular converters, a function that takes a node from a the JIT graph and produces an equivalent layer or subgraph in TensorRT. TRTorch ships with a library of these converters stored in a registry, that will be executed depending on the node being parsed. For instance a aten::relu(%input0.4) instruction will trigger the relu converter to be run on it, producing an activation layer in the TensorRT graph. But since this library is not exhaustive you may need to write your own to get TRTorch to support your module.

Shipped with the TRTorch distribution are the internal core API headers. You can therefore access the converter registry and add a converter for the op you need.

For example, if we try to compile a graph with a build of TRTorch that doesn’t support the flatten operation ( aten::flatten ) you may see this error:

terminate called after throwing an instance of 'trtorch::Error'
what():  [enforce fail at core/conversion/conversion.cpp:109] Expected converter to be true but got false
Unable to convert node: %input.1 : Tensor = aten::flatten(%x.1, %11, %5) # (conversion.AddLayer)
Schema: aten::flatten.using_ints(Tensor self, int start_dim=0, int end_dim=-1) -> (Tensor)
Converter for aten::flatten requested, but no such converter was found.
If you need a converter for this operator, you can try implementing one yourself
or request a converter:

We can register a converter for this operator in our application. All of the tools required to build a converter can be imported by including trtorch/core/conversion/converters/converters.h . We start by creating an instance of the self-registering class trtorch::core::conversion::converters::RegisterNodeConversionPatterns() which will register converters in the global converter registry, associating a function schema like aten::flatten.using_ints(Tensor self, int start_dim=0, int end_dim=-1) -> (Tensor) with a lambda that will take the state of the conversion, the node/operation in question to convert and all of the inputs to the node and produces as a side effect a new layer in the TensorRT network. Arguments are passed as a vector of inspectable unions of TensorRT ITensors and Torch IValues in the order arguments are listed in the schema.

Below is a implementation of a aten::flatten converter that we can use in our application. You have full access to the Torch and TensorRT libraries in the converter implementation. So for example we can quickly get the output size by just running the operation in PyTorch instead of implementing the full calculation outself like we do below for this flatten converter.

#include "torch/script.h"
#include "trtorch/trtorch.h"
#include "trtorch/core/conversion/converters/converters.h"

static auto flatten_converter = trtorch::core::conversion::converters::RegisterNodeConversionPatterns()
        "aten::flatten.using_ints(Tensor self, int start_dim=0, int end_dim=-1) -> (Tensor)",
        [](trtorch::core::conversion::ConversionCtx* ctx,
           const torch::jit::Node* n,
           trtorch::core::conversion::converters::args& args) -> bool {
            auto in = args[0].ITensor();
            auto start_dim = args[1].unwrapToInt();
            auto end_dim = args[2].unwrapToInt();
            auto in_shape = trtorch::core::util::toVec(in->getDimensions());
            auto out_shape = torch::flatten(torch::rand(in_shape), start_dim, end_dim).sizes();

            auto shuffle = ctx->net->addShuffle(*in);

            auto out_tensor = ctx->AssociateValueAndTensor(n->outputs()[0], shuffle->getOutput(0));
            return true;

int main() {

To use this converter in Python, it is recommended to use PyTorch’s C++ / CUDA Extention template to wrap your library of converters into a .so that you can load with ctypes.CDLL() in your Python application.

You can find more information on all the details of writing converters in the contributors documentation ( Writing Converters ). If you find yourself with a large library of converter implementations, do consider upstreaming them, PRs are welcome and it would be great for the community to benefit as well.