Optimize ONNX Model

This tutorial walks through the steps to run a model in ONNX format with Hidet. The ResNet50 onnx model exported from PyTorch model zoo would be used as an example.

Preparation of ONNX model

We first export the pretrained resnet50 model from torchvision model zoo to an onnx model, using torch.onnx.export(). After exporting, there will be a file named resnet50.onnx under current working directory.

import os
import torch

# the path to save the onnx model
onnx_path = './resnet50.onnx'

# load pretrained resnet50 and create a random input
torch_model = torch.hub.load('pytorch/vision:v0.9.0', 'resnet50', pretrained=True, verbose=False)
torch_model = torch_model.cuda().eval()
torch_data = torch.randn([1, 3, 224, 224]).cuda()

# export the pytorch model to onnx model 'resnet50.onnx'
    dynamic_axes={'data': {0: 'batch_size'}, 'output': {0: 'batch_size'}},

print('{}: {:.1f} MiB'.format(onnx_path, os.path.getsize(onnx_path) / (2**20)))
============= Diagnostic Run torch.onnx.export version 2.0.1+cu117 =============
verbose: False, log level: Level.ERROR
======================= 0 NONE 0 NOTE 0 WARNING 0 ERROR ========================

./resnet50.onnx: 97.4 MiB

Before going further, we first measure the latency of reset50 directly using PyTorch for inference. The benchmark_func() function runs the given function multiple times to get the median latency.

from hidet.utils import benchmark_func

print('PyTorch: {:.3f} ms'.format(benchmark_func(lambda: torch_model(torch_data))))
PyTorch: 1.801 ms

Load the onnx model with Hidet

To run the onnx model, we should first load the model with hidet.graph.frontend.from_onnx() function by giving the path to the onnx model. This function returns callable object, which applies all operators in the onnx model to the input argument and returns the output tensor(s). The onnx model can be dynamic-shaped (e.g., in this example, the batch size is dynamic).

import numpy as np
import hidet

# load onnx model 'resnet50.onnx'
hidet_onnx_module = hidet.graph.frontend.from_onnx(onnx_path)

print('Input names:', hidet_onnx_module.input_names)
print('Output names: ', hidet_onnx_module.output_names)
Input names: ['data']
Output names:  ['output']

Imperatively run the model

To run the model, we first create a hidet tensor from torch tensor with hidet.from_torch(). We directly call hidet_onnx_module to apply the operators in loaded onnx model to the given input tensor and get the output tensor.

# create a hidet tensor from pytorch tensor.
data: hidet.Tensor = hidet.from_torch(torch_data)

# apply the operators in onnx model to given 'data' input tensor
output: hidet.Tensor = hidet_onnx_module(data)

# check the output of hidet with pytorch
torch_output = torch_model(torch_data).detach()
    actual=output.cpu().numpy(), desired=torch_output.cpu().numpy(), rtol=1e-2, atol=1e-2

Trace the model and run

A more efficient way to run the model is to first trace the execution and get the static computation graph of the deep learning model. We can use hidet.symbol_like() to create a symbol tensor. We can get the symbol tensor output by running the model with the symbol tensor as input. The output is a symbol tensor that contains all information of how it is derived. We can use hidet.trace_from() to create the static computation graph from the symbol output tensor. In hidet, we use hidet.graph.FlowGraph to represent such a computation graph, and it is also the basic unit of graph-level optimizations.

symbol_data = hidet.symbol_like(data)
symbol_output = hidet_onnx_module(symbol_data)
graph: hidet.FlowGraph = hidet.trace_from(symbol_output)

We can directly call the flow graph to run it. A more efficient way is to create a CUDA Graph according to the flow graph and run the CUDA Graph.


The CUDA Graph is a more efficient way to submit workload to NVIDIA GPU, it eliminates most of the framework-side overhead.

We use cuda_graph() method of a FlowGraph to create a CudaGraph. Then, we use run() method to run the cuda graph.

def bench_hidet_graph(graph: hidet.FlowGraph):
    cuda_graph = graph.cuda_graph()
    (output,) = cuda_graph.run([data])
        actual=output.cpu().numpy(), desired=torch_output.cpu().numpy(), rtol=1e-2, atol=1e-2
    print('  Hidet: {:.3f} ms'.format(benchmark_func(lambda: cuda_graph.run())))

Hidet: 3.220 ms

Optimize FlowGraph

To optimize the model, we set the level of operator schedule space to 2 with hidet.option.search_space(). We also conduct graph level optimizations with hidet.graph.optimize().

# Set the search space level for kernel tuning. By default, the search space level is 0, which means no kernel tuning.
# There are three choices: 0, 1, and 2. The higher the level, the better performance but the longer compilation time.

# optimize the flow graph, such as operator fusion
with hidet.graph.PassContext() as ctx:
    graph_opt: hidet.FlowGraph = hidet.graph.optimize(graph)

Hidet: 4.169 ms

When we search in space 2, we can have the following numbers on RTX 4090:

PyTorch: 1.806 ms (eager mode)
  Hidet: 3.477 ms (no optimization)
  Hidet: 0.841 ms (optimization and search space 2)


Hidet is a DNN inference framework that accepts ONNX model. It conducts both graph-level and operator-level optimizations. We follow the following steps to run an ONNX model in Hidet:

  1. Load the model with hidet.graph.frontend.from_onnx().

  2. Run the model with symbolic inputs, and use hidet.trace_from() to create the hidet.graph.FlowGraph.

  3. Create a hidet.cuda.graph.CudaGraph using hidet.graph.FlowGraph.cuda_graph().

  4. Run the cuda graph.

Total running time of the script: (0 minutes 5.321 seconds)

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