jax-cosmo: Finally an Automatically Differentiable Cosmology Library!

2021 July DESC Collaboration Meeting

Francois Lanusse (@EiffL), for the jax-cosmo contributors

And more (not yet in the picture because I'm lagging behind on PR merging)

- Jean-Eric Campagne

- Joe Zuntz

- Tilman Troester

- Ben Horowitz

do you want
any of this?

Fisher Forecasts become exact and instantaneous

import jax
import jax.numpy as np
import jax_cosmo as jc

# .... define probes, and load a data vector

def gaussian_likelihood( theta ):
  # Build the cosmology for given parameters
  cosmo = jc.Planck15(Omega_c=theta[0], sigma8=theta[1])

  # Compute mean and covariance
  mu, cov = jc.angular_cl.gaussian_cl_covariance_and_mean(cosmo,
                                                    ell, probes)
  # returns likelihood of data under model
  return jc.likelihood.gaussian_likelihood(data, mu, cov)

# Fisher matrix in just one line:
F = - jax.hessian(gaussian_likelihood)(theta)
  • No derivatives were harmed by finite differences in the computation of this Fisher!
  • You can scale to thousands of input parameters, no issues of numerical precision.

Inference becomes fast and scalable

  • Gradients of the log posterior are required for modern efficient and scalable inference techniques:
    • Variational Inference
    • Hamiltonian Monte-Carlo
  • With gradients, you can scale to thousands of parameters

DES Y1 posterior, jax-cosmo HMC vs Cobaya MH
(credit: Joe Zuntz)

def log_posterior( theta ):
    return gaussian_likelihood( theta ) + log_prior(theta)

score = jax.grad(log_posterior)(theta)

You can differentiate through Cosmology


Given (g)riz photometry, find a tomographic bin assignment method that optimizes a 3x2pt analysis.


  • Strategy with differentiable physics:
    • Introduce a parametric "bin assignment function"
    • Optimize this function to maximize DETF FoM

Makinen et al. 2021, arXiv:2107.07405

What Framework Should you Adopt?

Some top-level considerations

  • [Low Barrier to Entry] You don't want contributors to have to learn an entirely new language to start contributing (I'm looking at you Julia!).
  • [Maintainability] You want readable code, without several layers of implementation (I'm looking at you GalSim and CCL!)
  • [Trivially installable] This should always work:
  • [Performance] Duh! But more precisely, you want to be able to take advantage of next gen platforms like Perlmutter. Code should work 100% the same on CPU or GPU for the user.
$ pip install mylibrary

=> a JAX-based library will meet all of these criteria


JAX: NumPy + Autograd + XLA

  • JAX uses the NumPy API
    => You can copy/paste existing code, works pretty much out of the box

  • JAX is a successor of autograd
    => You can transform any function to get forward or backward automatic derivatives (grad, jacobians, hessians, etc)

  • JAX uses XLA as a backend
    => Same framework as used by TensorFlow (supports CPU, GPU, TPU execution)
import jax.numpy as np

m = np.eye(10) # Some matrix

def my_func(x):
  return m.dot(x).sum() 

x = np.linspace(0,1,10)
y = my_func(x)
from jax import grad

df_dx = grad(my_func)
y = df_dx(x)
  • Pure functions
    => JAX is designed for functional programming: your code should be built around pure functions (no side effects)
    • Enables caching functions as XLA expressions
    • Enables JAX's extremely powerful concept of composable function transformations
  • Just in Time (jit) Compilation
    => jax.jit() transformation will compile an entire function as XLA, which then runs in one go on GPU.
  • Arbitrary order forward and backward autodiff 
    => jax.grad() transformation will apply the d/dx operator to a function f
  • Auto-vectorization
    => jax.vmap() transformation will add a batch dimension to the input/output of any function
def pure_fun(x):
  return 2 * x**2 + 3 * x + 2

def impure_fun_side_effect(x):
  print('I am a side effect')
  return 2 * x**2 + 3 * x + 2

C = 10. # A global variable
def impure_fun_uses_globals(x):
  return 2 * x**2 + 3 * x + C
# Decorator for jitting
def my_fun(W, x):
  return W.dot(x)

# or as an explicit transformation
my_fun_jitted = jax.jit(my_fun)
def f(x):
  return 2 * x**2 + 3 *x + 2

df_dx = jax.grad(f)   
jac = jax.jacobian(f)
hess = jax.hessian(f) 
# As decorator
def f(x):
  return 2 * x**2 + 3 *x + 2

# Can be composed
df_dx = jax.jit(jax.vmap(jax.grad(f)))
  • Cosmology library embracing JAX computing model
    => Autodiff, GPU acceleration, automated batching
  • MIT licensed,  collaboratively developed
    => Follows the all-contributors guidelines
  • Inspired by CCL's tracer mechanism
    => See design document
  • Unit tested against CCL

Status of Implementation

  • Certainly not feature-complete but approximately DES Y1 3x2pt capable
    • Power spectrum:
      • Eisenstein-Hu Power
      • halofit
    • Tracers:
      • Lensing (including NLA, multiplicative bias)
      • NumberCounts 
    • 2pt functions 
      • Limber, harmonic space 
      • Gaussian covariance tools
  • These were the main features needed for the DESC 3x2pt Tomo Challenge
    • Took about a week to implement, another week to tidy up a bit

Let's take it for a spin


JAX vs Julia vs TensorFlow vs PyTorch

  • Let's go with JAX:
    • It's normal NumPy, don't need to learn anything new
    • Under the hood, they will all use XLA, so no difference
    • Very powerful function transformation mechanisms

Do We Need to Rewrite CCL from Scratch? 

  • Yes, if we want differentiability there is no workaround.
    Trying to progressively adapt CCL with differentiable components would be a nightmare.
  • But:
    • When you already have a validated numerical scheme and implementation to compare to, there is no "research/uncertainty", it's purely a matter of translating code. I coded jax-cosmo in about a week.
      => CCL would continue to play a major role as a standard reference.
    • It can be an opportunity to bring all of our experience in the design of a new library.

What about CAMB and CLASS?

  • Quick and Easy solution: train an emulator
  • Longer term solution:
    • Someone (maybe Zack) will code a differentiable version of those
    • We could kickstart such a project

Where to host such projects?

  • These tools will be useful to all modern cosmological surveys, but they are non trivial to implement, test, and maintain.
    • You want to ensure broad user adoption
    • Help build a community to support the maintenance and development of the project
  • 2 options:
    • A DESC-sponsored project (like CCL), but developed completely openly (think astropy)
    • Open project hosted in some sort of external entity, enabling anyone to contribute, across any collaboration.
      • That was the idea behind the Differentiable Universe Initiative
  • With our new DESC Software policy, I think option 1 is now doable.

In Conclusion...

But more seriously, happy to chat anytime if you are interested in contributing, or just want to know more about JAX :-) 


By eiffl


Introduction to JAX and the jax-cosmo library

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