Tensor Programs IIb: Architectural Universality Of Neural Tangent Kernel Training Dynamics

Greg Yang · Etai Littwin

Keywords: [ Theory -> Deep learning Theory ]


Yang (2020) recently showed that the Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) at initialization has an infinite-width limit for a large class of architectures including modern staples such as ResNet and Transformers. However, their analysis does not apply to training. Here, we show the same neural networks (in the so-called NTK parametrization) during training follow a kernel gradient descent dynamics in function space, where the kernel is the infinite-width NTK. This completes the proof of the architectural universality of NTK behavior. To achieve this result, we apply the Tensor Programs technique: Write the entire SGD dynamics inside a Tensor Program and analyze it via the Master Theorem. To facilitate this proof, we develop a graphical notation for Tensor Programs, which we believe is also an important contribution toward the pedagogy and exposition of the Tensor Programs technique.

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