Runtime Phase

The Runtime phase is responsible for constructing self standing TorchScript graphs with embedded TensorRT engines and serving as the runtime when these engines are called. The main interface accepts a serialized TensorRT engine. The execution phase will deserialize and wrap this engine in a class which maintains a execution context for each engine and some metadata about its inputs and outputs and is compatable with the TorchScript interpreter so that it can be moved around and used like other TorchScript IValues. The engine is run by providing it and inputs to the tensorrt::execute_engine operator which will take the engine and its inputs and return the results of engine exeuction.


PyTorch JIT’s runtime is based around a stack machine, all operators pop off arguments from the stack, pass them to some implementation of the operator then push results back onto the stack. The actual elements of the stack are torch::jit::IValues, the same type we evaluate in the conversion phase (the realization of the abstract torch::jit::Value type).

TensorRT Engine Executor Op

When the Torch-TensorRT is loaded, it registers an operator in the PyTorch JIT operator library called trt::execute_engine(Tensor[] inputs, __torch__.torch.classes.tensorrt.Engine engine) -> Tensor[] which takes an instantiated engine and list of inputs. Compiled graphs store this engine in an attribute so that it is portable and serializable. When the op is called, an instnantiated engine and input tensors are popped off the runtime stack. These inputs are passed into a generic engine execution function which will run the tensors through the TensorRT engine and return new tensors as results. These tensors are pushed on to the stack so that the next op whatever it is can use it.

Constructing the Resulting Graph

Once the engine is deserialized and instantiated, the compiler will construct a graph that will execute the engine when the module is called. Here is an example:

graph(%self_1 : __torch__.torchvision.models.resnet.___torch_mangle_4847.ResNet_trt,
  %input_0 : Tensor):
    %1 : __torch__.torch.classes.tensorrt.Engine = prim::GetAttr[name="__torch___torchvision_models_resnet____torch_mangle_4847_ResNet_trt_engine"](%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 engine attribute in the graph and the trt::execute_engine op taking a list of input tensors and an engine in and produces a list of output tensors which is returned. When forward is called on the module this graph is executed, thereby running the TensorRT engine.

In the case of multiple outputs, the compiled graph may repack output tensors into a Tuple to return back to the user.

graph(%self_1 : __torch__.PyTorch.Detection.SSD.src.model.SSD300_trt,
  %input_0 : Tensor):
    %1 : __torch__.torch.classes.tensorrt.Engine = prim::GetAttr[name="__torch___PyTorch_Detection_SSD_src_model_SSD300_trt_engine"](%self_1)
    %3 : Tensor[] = prim::ListConstruct(%input_0)
    %4 : Tensor[] = trt::execute_engine(%3, %1)
    %5 : Tensor, %6 : Tensor = prim::ListUnpack(%4)
    %7 : (Tensor, Tensor) = prim::TupleConstruct(%5, %6)
return (%7)

Serialization and Deserialization

Serialization and deserialization of TensorRT engines embedded in TorchScript graphs are handled by the holder class for the engine and TorchBind. When a TorchScript module is saved, the pickler will run serilization on the cuda engine and store the serialized engine in the zip file created. When deserializing, the depickler will call a constructor for the engine holder class with the serialized engine so that it can be set up again for execution.

ABI Versioning and Serialization Format

Torch-TensorRT programs are standard TorchScript with TensorRT engines as objects embedded in the graph. Therefore there is a serialization format for the TensorRT engines. The format for Torch-TensorRT serialized programs are versioned with an “ABI” version which tells the runtime about runtime compatibility.

> Current ABI version is 3

The format is a vector of serialized strings. They encode the following information

  • ABI Version for the program

  • Name of the TRT engine

  • Device information: Includes the target device the engine was built on, SM capability and other device information. This information is used at deserialization time to select the correct device to run the engine

  • Serialized TensorRT engine


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