Hi there,

I’m trying to get a basic example of LR finder working (on MNIST) so that I can then use it for more complicated models. Unfortunately, the log plot of loss against LR seems wrong as the loss increases sharply even for very small LR (e.g. 10e-8).

I’ve created a script to run the LR finder, and another to plot the results.

LR Finder

import json
import os
from pytorch_lightning import LightningModule, Trainer
import torch
from torch.nn import functional as F
from import DataLoader
from torchvision.datasets import MNIST
from torchvision.transforms import ToTensor

PATH_DATASETS = os.environ.get("PATH_DATASETS", ".")
BATCH_SIZE = 256 if torch.cuda.is_available() else 64

class MNISTModel(LightningModule):
    def __init__(self):
        super().__init__() = 1e-3
        self.l1 = torch.nn.Linear(28 * 28, 10)

    def forward(self, x):
        return torch.relu(self.l1(x.view(x.size(0), -1)))

    def training_step(self, batch, _):
        x, y = batch
        loss = F.cross_entropy(self(x), y)
        return loss

    def configure_optimizers(self):
        return torch.optim.Adam(self.parameters(),

model = MNISTModel()
train_ds = MNIST(PATH_DATASETS, train=True, download=True, transform=ToTensor())
train_loader = DataLoader(train_ds, batch_size=BATCH_SIZE)

trainer = Trainer(

lr_finder = trainer.tuner.lr_find(model, train_dataloaders=train_loader)

filename = 'results.json'
with open(filename, 'w') as f:


import json
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
import os

filepath = os.path.join(os.environ['MYMI_CODE'], 'results.json')
results = json.load(open(filepath))

plt.plot(results['lr'], results['loss'])

Screen Shot 2023-03-09 at 3.13.53 pm


Collecting environment information...
PyTorch version: 1.13.1+cu117
Is debug build: False
CUDA used to build PyTorch: 11.7
ROCM used to build PyTorch: N/A

OS: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 7.9 (Maipo) (x86_64)
GCC version: (GCC) 10.2.0
Clang version: Could not collect
CMake version: Could not collect
Libc version: glibc-2.17

Python version: 3.8.6 (default, Mar 29 2021, 14:28:48)  [GCC 10.2.0] (64-bit runtime)
Python platform: Linux-3.10.0-1160.66.1.el7.x86_64-x86_64-with-glibc2.2.5
Is CUDA available: True
CUDA runtime version: Could not collect
GPU models and configuration: GPU 0: NVIDIA A100 80GB PCIe
Nvidia driver version: 515.65.01
cuDNN version: Could not collect
HIP runtime version: N/A
MIOpen runtime version: N/A
Is XNNPACK available: True

Versions of relevant libraries:
[pip3] numpy==1.24.0
[pip3] pytorch-lightning==1.8.6
[pip3] torch==1.13.1
[pip3] torchaudio==0.13.1
[pip3] torchio==0.18.86
[pip3] torchmetrics==0.11.0
[pip3] torchvision==0.14.1
[conda] Could not collect

Any ideas on how to fix this script?



I couldn’t get exactly what you think is wrong with this example. For the plot, remember that the learning rate is changing over time (the x-axis). Given this curve, I would expect that the LRFinder will choose a learning rate at around 10^(-2) which is where the loss is decreasing most rapidly. Did you check what the learning rate is that the finder chose?

Btw, you can use lr_finder.plot() :slight_smile: Also, I suggest to remove the ReLU from the output layer :slight_smile:

Hi @awaelchli,

I agree that most of the plot looks fine and a learning rate of approx. 10e-2 would be suitable.

My issue with the plot is that at very small learning rates I would expect the loss curve to be flat due to model parameters not really changing. But for some reason the loss increases sharply at very small LR values.