Workshop: Over-parameterization: Pitfalls and Opportunities

Risk Bounds for Over-parameterized Maximum Margin Classification on Sub-Gaussian Mixtures

Yuan Cao · Yuan Cao · Quanquan Gu · Mikhail Belkin


Modern machine learning systems such as deep neural networks are often highly over-parameterized so that they can fit the noisy training data exactly, yet they can still achieve small test errors in practice. In this paper, we study this ``benign overfitting'' phenomenon of the maximum margin classifier for linear classification problems. Specifically, we consider data generated from sub-Gaussian mixtures, and provide a tight risk bound for the maximum margin linear classifier in the over-parameterized setting. Our results precisely characterize the condition under which benign overfitting can occur in linear classification problems, and improve on previous work. They also have direct implications for over-parameterized logistic regression.