Changes in Python API

This page describes recent changes in BigARTM’s Python API. Note that the API might be affected by changes in the underlying protobuf messages. For this reason we recommend to review Changes in Protobuf Messages.

For further reference about Python API refer to ARTM model, Q & A or tutorials.


  • Remove flag process_in_memory from artm.BatchVectorizer, and rename model parameter into process_in_memory_model. Passing this parameter with data_format='batches' will trigger in-memory processing of batches specified in batches parameter.
  • artm.BatchVectorizer now can receive sparse matrices (subclasses of scipy.sparse.spmatrix) for in-memory batch processing.
  • Enable custom decorrelation by specifying separate decorrelation coefficients for every pair of topics into artm.DecorrelatorPhiRegularizer via optional parameter topic_pairs.
  • Add new regularizers: artm.SmoothTimeInTopicsPhiRegularizer and artm.NetPlsaRegularizer.
  • Add support for entire model saving and loading via dump_artm_model and load_artm_model methods of artm.ARTM.


  • Enable copying of ARTM, LDA, hARTM and ARTM_Level objects with clone() method and copy.deepcopy(obj).
  • Experimental support for import/export/editing of theta matrices; for more details see python reference of ARTM.__init__(ptd_name='ptd').
  • ARTM.get_phi_dense() method to extract phi matrix without pandas.DataFrame, see #758.
  • Bug fix in ARTM.get_phi_sparse() to return tokens as rows, and topic names as columns (previously it was the opposite way)



BigARTM 3rdparty dependency had been upgraded from protobuf 2.6.1 to protobuf 3.0.0. This may affect you upgrade from previous version of bigartm. Pelase report any issues at


BigARTM now require you to install tqdm library to visualize progress bars. To install use pip install tqdm or conda install -c conda-forge tqdm.

  • Add support for python 3.0

  • Add hARTM class to support hierarchy model

  • Add HierarchySparsingTheta for advanced inference of hierarchical models

  • Enable replacing regularizers in ARTM-like models:

    # using operator[]-like style
    model.regularizers['somename'] = SomeRegularizer(...)
    # using keyword argument overwrite in add function
    model.regularizers.add(SomeRegularizer(name='somename', ...), overwrite=True)
  • Better error reporting: raise exception in fit_offline, fit_online and transform if there is no data to process)

  • Better support for changes in topic names, with reconfigure(), initialize() and merge_model()

  • Show progress bars in fit_offline, fit_online and transform.

  • Add ARTM.reshape_topics method to add/remove/reorder topics.

  • Add max_dictionary_size parameter to Dictionary.filter()

  • Add class_ids parameter to BatchVectorizer.__init__()

  • Add dictionary_name parameter to MasterComponent.merge_model()

  • Add ARTM.transform_sparse() and ARTM.get_theta_sparse() for sparse retrieval of theta matrix

  • Add ARTM.get_phi_sparse() for sparse retrieval of phi matrix


  • New source type ‘bow_n_wd’ was added into BatchVectorizer class. This type oriented on using the output of CountVectorizer and TfIdfVectorizers classes from sklearn. New parameters of BatchVectorizer are: n_wd (numpy.array) and vocabulary(dict)
  • LDA model was added as one of the public interfaces. It is a restricted ARTM model created to simplify BigARTM usage for new users with few experience in topic modeling.
  • BatchVectorizer got a flag ‘gather_dictionary’, which has default value ‘True’. This means that BV would create dictionary and save it in the BV.dictionary field. For ‘bow_n_wd’ format the dictionary will be gathered whenever the flag was set to ‘False’ or to ‘True’.
  • Add relative regularization for Phi matrix



Note that your script can be affected by our changes in the default values for num_document_passes and reuse_theta parameters (see below). We recommend to use our new default settings, num_document_passes = 10 and reuse_theta = False. However, if you choose to explicitly set num_document_passes = 1 then make sure to also set reuse_theta = True, otherwise you will experience very slow convergence.

  • all operations to work with dictionaries were moved into a separate class artm.Dictionary. (details in the documentation). The mapping between old and new methods is very straighforward: ARTM.gather_dictionary is replaced with Dictionary.gather method, which allows to gather a dictionary from a set of batches; ARTM.filter_dictionary is replaced with Dictionary.filter method, which allows to filter a dictionary based on term frequency and document frequency; ARTM.load_dictionary is replaced with Dictionary.load method, which allows to load a dictionary previously exported to disk in method; ARTM.create_dictionary is replaced with Dictionary.create method, which allows to create a dictionary based on custom protobuf message DictionaryData, containing a set of dictionary entries; etc… The following code snippet gives a basic example:

    my_dictionary = artm.Dictionary()
    my_dictionary.gather(data_path='my_collection_batches', vocab_file_path='vocab.txt')'my_collection_batches/my_dictionary')
    model = artm.ARTM(num_topics=20, dictionary=my_dictionary)
  • added library_version property to ARTM class to query for the version of the underlying BigARTM library; returns a string in MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH format;

  • dictionary_name argument had been renamed to dictionary in many places across python interface, including scores and regularizers. This is done because those arguments can now except not just a string, but also the artm.Dictionary class itself.

  • with Dictionary class users no longer have to generate names for their dictionaries (e.g. the unique dictionary_name identifier that references the dictionary). You may use field to access to the underlying name of the dictionary.

  • added dictionary argument to ARTM.__init__ constructor to let user initialize the model; note that we’ve change the behavior that model is automatically initialized whenever user calls fit_offline or fit_online. Now this is no longer the case, and we expect user to either pass a dictionary in ARTM.__init__ constructor, or manually call ARTM.initialize method. If neither is performed then ARTM.fit_offline and ARTM.fit_online will throw an exception.

  • added seed argument to ARTM.__init__ constructor to let user randomly initialize the model;

  • added new score and score tracker BackgroundTokensRatio

  • remove the default value from num_topics argument in ARTM.__init__ constructor, which previously was defaulting to num_topics = 10; now user must always specify the desired number of topics;

  • moved argument reuse_theta from fit_offline method into ARTM.__init__ constructor; the argument is still used to indicate that the previous theta matrix should be re-used on the next pass over the collection; setting reuse_theta = True in the constructor will now be applied to fit_online, which previously did not have this option.

  • moved common argument num_document_passes from ARTM.fit_offline, ARTM.fit_online, ARTM.transform methods into ARTM.__init__ constructor.

  • changed the default value of cache_theta parameter from True to False (in ARTM.__init__ constructor); this is done to avoid excessive memory usage due to caching of the entire Theta matrix; if caching is indeed required user has to manually turn it on by setting cache_theta = True.

  • changed the default value of reuse_theta parameter from True to False (in ARTM.__init__ constructor); the reason is the same as for changing the default for cache_theta parameter

  • changed the default value of num_document_passes parameter from 1 to 10 (in ARTM.__init__ constructor);

  • added arguments apply_weight, decay_weight and update_after in ARTM.fit_online method; each argument accepts a list of floats; setting all three arguments will override the default behavior of the online algorithm that rely on a specific formula with tau0, kappa and update_every.

  • added argument async (boolean flag) in ARTM.fit_online method for improved performance.

  • added argument theta_matrix_type in ARTM.transform method; potential values are: "dense_theta", "dense_ptdw", None; default matrix type is "dense_theta".

  • introduced a separate method ARTM.remove_theta to clear cached theta matrix; remove corresponding boolean switch remove_theta from ARTM.get_theta method.

  • removed ARTM.fit_transform method; note that the name was confusing because this method has never fitted the model; the purpose of ARTM.fit_transform was to retrieve Theta matrix after fitting the model (ARTM.fit_offline or ARTM.fit_online); same functionality is now available via ARTM.get_theta method.

  • introduced ARTM.get_score method, which will exist in parallel to score tracking functionality; the goal for ARTM.get_score(score_name) is to always return the latest version of the score; for Phi scores this means to calculate them on fly; for Theta scores this means to return a score aggregated over last call to ARTM.fit_offline, ARTM.fit_online or ARTM.transform methods; opposite to ARTM.get_score the score tracking functionality returns the overall history of a score. For further details on score calculation refer to Q&A section in our wiki page.

  • added data_weight in BatchVectorizer.__init__ constructor to let user specify an individual weight for each batch

  • score tracker classes had been rewritten, so you should make minor changes in the code that retrieves scores; for example:

  • added an API to initialize logging with custom logging directory, log level, etc… Search out wiki page Q&A for more details.

    # in v0.7.x
    print model.score_tracker['Top100Tokens'].last_topic_info[topic_name].tokens
    # in v0.8.0
    last_tokens = model.score_tracker['Top100Tokens'].last_tokens
    print last_tokens[topic_name]