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TimeDistributed(Dense) with Masking not masking bias #12495

andersjohanandreassen opened this Issue Mar 16, 2019 · 1 comment


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andersjohanandreassen commented Mar 16, 2019

I have come across a problem with Masking the inputs to a TimeDistributed(Dense) layer.
If the input is masked and the bias in the dense layer is zero, the output of TimeDistributed(Dense) is zero.
However, if the input is masked and the bias is non-zero, TimeDistributed(Dense) returns the bias value.

This seems somewhat similar to #1300.

Inspired by this example, here is some example code that illustrates the problem. (more thorough example here)

In this example, I construct a TimeDistributed(Dense) layer that sums the values at each timestep and adds a constant value.

# Construct time series data set
pad_value = 0.1

t1 = [3, 1, 2, 0.1]
t2 = [1, 1, 1, 0.1]
t_pad = [pad_value, pad_value, pad_value, pad_value]
time_series = np.asarray([[t1, t2, t_pad]])
add_constant = 10

# Build model
my_input = Input(shape=(None, 4))
mask = Masking(mask_value=pad_value)(my_input)
out = TimeDistributed(Dense(1, activation='linear'))(mask)
model = Model(inputs=my_input, outputs=out)
# Set all weights multiplying the input to 1, and set the bias to add_constant

This outputs

        [10. ]]], dtype=float32)

As you can see, the last entry should be zero if the masking was applied, instead it is returning the bias.


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pkomiske commented Mar 17, 2019

I am also having the same problem. The documentation for Masking indicates that the timesteps are skipped, which I assumed means "has no effect", not just mapped to zero and propagated forward. For my use cases I do not want the network to have information about how much padding there was, which seems to be in effect what's happening.

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