Cross product style architectures with Gluon


I’m wondering how to use mx.nd operations in the forward pass of Gluon to implement cross product style architectures (e.g. bilinear models) and that need to look at pairs of vectors

I was trying to implement a Relational Network:
Relevant implementation in PyTorch:

My first attempt at an implementation is below - but I’m new to mxnet so I’m probably making a million mistakes - it would be useful if someone could guide me along with how to implement this.

class RecurrentRelational(gluon.Block):
    def __init__(self, dim=100, num_layers=1, layout='NTC',
        super(RecurrentRelational, self).__init__(**kwargs)
        self.key = 'recurrent-relational'
        with self.name_scope():
            # layers created in name_scope will inherit name space
            # from parent layer.
            #self.dropout = nn.Dropout(0.3)
            self.hidden_size = dim
            self.num_layers = num_layers
            self.layout = layout
   = nn.BatchNorm()

            # Recurrent Encoder
            self.rnn = rnn.RNN(self.hidden_size, self.num_layers,
                                layout=self.layout, bidirectional=True)
            # Relational Network
            self.g_hidden = 100
            self.relational_g1 = nn.Dense(self.g_hidden, activation='relu')
            self.relational_g2 = nn.Dense(self.g_hidden, activation='relu')

            self.relational_f = nn.Dense(100, activation='relu')
            # End RN

            self.binary = nn.Dense(2)

    def activate_relation(self, relation_vector):
        g_z = self.relational_g1(relation_vector)
        g_z =
        g_z = self.relational_g2(g_z)
        return g_z

    def activate_aggregation(self, aggregation):
        return self.relational_f(

    def forward(self, (x1, x2)):
        z1 = self.rnn(x1)
        z2 = self.rnn(x2)
        batch_size, seq_len, hidden_dim = z1.shape
        num_objects = z1.shape[1]
        all_object_pairs = []

        for i in range(num_objects):
            first_object = z1[:, i, :]
            for j in range(num_objects):
                second_object = z2[:, j, :]
                relation_vector = mx.nd.concat(first_object, second_object, dim=1)

        all_relations = mx.nd.concat(*all_object_pairs, dim=0)
        z_rel = self.activate_relation(all_relations).reshape((-1, num_objects * num_objects,
        z_agg = mx.nd.sum(z_rel, axis=1)
        return self.binary(self.activate_aggregation(z_agg))

The error I’m getting is

libc++abi.dylib: terminating with uncaught exception of type dmlc::Error: [16:57:57] src/engine/./threaded_engine.h:347: [16:57:57] src/operator/tensor/./matrix_op-inl.h:964: CropAssign only supports kWriteTo

Is there a different way to implement this that may avoid this issue?


Please try latest master. Make sure to do a clean build.


Sure - will do - @piiswrong, are you saying that the syntax in the first version is correct?


Looks Ok to me. Try the most recent pip build with pip install mxnet --pre


The network does compile and training does proceed - but even after training for 20 epochs I am getting all values being predicted as the same class… so it doesn’t seem to be learning anything. I’ll try tweaking hyperparameters but please let me know if there’s a good way to find out whether the computational graph is what I expected and if the gradients are being propagated correctly all the way through.