Session

Deep Learning Theory 6

Moderator: Rene Vidal



Thu 22 Jul 5 a.m. PDT — 6 a.m. PDT

Abstract:

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Thu 22 July 5:00 - 5:20 PDT

(Oral)
Tilting the playing field: Dynamical loss functions for machine learning

Miguel Ruiz Garcia · Ge Zhang · Samuel Schoenholz · Andrea Liu

We show that learning can be improved by using loss functions that evolve cyclically during training to emphasize one class at a time. In underparameterized networks, such dynamical loss functions can lead to successful training for networks that fail to find deep minima of the standard cross-entropy loss. In overparameterized networks, dynamical loss functions can lead to better generalization. Improvement arises from the interplay of the changing loss landscape with the dynamics of the system as it evolves to minimize the loss. In particular, as the loss function oscillates, instabilities develop in the form of bifurcation cascades, which we study using the Hessian and Neural Tangent Kernel. Valleys in the landscape widen and deepen, and then narrow and rise as the loss landscape changes during a cycle. As the landscape narrows, the learning rate becomes too large and the network becomes unstable and bounces around the valley. This process ultimately pushes the system into deeper and wider regions of the loss landscape and is characterized by decreasing eigenvalues of the Hessian. This results in better regularized models with improved generalization performance.

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Thu 22 July 5:20 - 5:25 PDT

(Spotlight)
Adversarial Robustness Guarantees for Random Deep Neural Networks

Giacomo De Palma · Bobak T Kiani · Seth Lloyd

The reliability of deep learning algorithms is fundamentally challenged by the existence of adversarial examples, which are incorrectly classified inputs that are extremely close to a correctly classified input. We explore the properties of adversarial examples for deep neural networks with random weights and biases, and prove that for any pā‰„1, the ā„“^p distance of any given input from the classification boundary scales as one over the square root of the dimension of the input times the ā„“^p norm of the input. The results are based on the recently proved equivalence between Gaussian processes and deep neural networks in the limit of infinite width of the hidden layers, and are validated with experiments on both random deep neural networks and deep neural networks trained on the MNIST and CIFAR10 datasets. The results constitute a fundamental advance in the theoretical understanding of adversarial examples, and open the way to a thorough theoretical characterization of the relation between network architecture and robustness to adversarial perturbations.

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Thu 22 July 5:25 - 5:30 PDT

(Spotlight)
Implicit Bias of Linear RNNs

Melikasadat Emami · Mojtaba Sahraee-Ardakan · Parthe Pandit · Sundeep Rangan · Alyson Fletcher

Contemporary wisdom based on empirical studies suggests that standard recurrent neural networks (RNNs) do not perform well on tasks requiring long-term memory. However, RNNs' poor ability to capture long-term dependencies has not been fully understood. This paper provides a rigorous explanation of this property in the special case of linear RNNs. Although this work is limited to linear RNNs, even these systems have traditionally been difficult to analyze due to their non-linear parameterization. Using recently-developed kernel regime analysis, our main result shows that as the number of hidden units goes to infinity, linear RNNs learned from random initializations are functionally equivalent to a certain weighted 1D-convolutional network. Importantly, the weightings in the equivalent model cause an implicit bias to elements with smaller time lags in the convolution, and hence shorter memory. The degree of this bias depends on the variance of the transition matrix at initialization and is related to the classic exploding and vanishing gradients problem. The theory is validated with both synthetic and real data experiments.

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Thu 22 July 5:30 - 5:35 PDT

(Spotlight)
Analyzing the tree-layer structure of Deep Forests

Ludovic Arnould · Claire Boyer · Erwan Scornet

Random forests on the one hand, and neural networks on the other hand, have met great success in the machine learning community for their predictive performance. Combinations of both have been proposed in the literature, notably leading to the so-called deep forests (DF) (Zhou & Feng,2019). In this paper, our aim is not to benchmark DF performances but to investigate instead their underlying mechanisms. Additionally, DF architecture can be generally simplified into more simple and computationally efficient shallow forest networks. Despite some instability, the latter may outperform standard predictive tree-based methods. We exhibit a theoretical framework in which a shallow tree network is shown to enhance the performance of classical decision trees. In such a setting, we provide tight theoretical lower and upper bounds on its excess risk. These theoretical results show the interest of tree-network architectures for well-structured data provided that the first layer, acting as a data encoder, is rich enough.

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Thu 22 July 5:35 - 5:40 PDT

(Spotlight)
Quantifying the Benefit of Using Differentiable Learning over Tangent Kernels

Eran Malach · Pritish Kamath · Emmanuel Abbe · Nati Srebro

We study the relative power of learning with gradient descent on differentiable models, such as neural networks, versus using the corresponding tangent kernels. We show that under certain conditions, gradient descent achieves small error only if a related tangent kernel method achieves a non-trivial advantage over random guessing (a.k.a. weak learning), though this advantage might be very small even when gradient descent can achieve arbitrarily high accuracy. Complementing this, we show that without these conditions, gradient descent can in fact learn with small error even when no kernel method, in particular using the tangent kernel, can achieve a non-trivial advantage over random guessing.

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Thu 22 July 5:40 - 5:45 PDT

(Spotlight)
Implicit Regularization in Tensor Factorization

Noam Razin · Asaf Maman · Nadav Cohen

Recent efforts to unravel the mystery of implicit regularization in deep learning have led to a theoretical focus on matrix factorization --- matrix completion via linear neural network. As a step further towards practical deep learning, we provide the first theoretical analysis of implicit regularization in tensor factorization --- tensor completion via certain type of non-linear neural network. We circumvent the notorious difficulty of tensor problems by adopting a dynamical systems perspective, and characterizing the evolution induced by gradient descent. The characterization suggests a form of greedy low tensor rank search, which we rigorously prove under certain conditions, and empirically demonstrate under others. Motivated by tensor rank capturing the implicit regularization of a non-linear neural network, we empirically explore it as a measure of complexity, and find that it captures the essence of datasets on which neural networks generalize. This leads us to believe that tensor rank may pave way to explaining both implicit regularization in deep learning, and the properties of real-world data translating this implicit regularization to generalization.

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Thu 22 July 5:45 - 5:50 PDT

(Spotlight)
Uniform Convergence, Adversarial Spheres and a Simple Remedy

Gregor Bachmann · Seyed Moosavi · Thomas Hofmann

Previous work has cast doubt on the general framework of uniform convergence and its ability to explain generalization in neural networks. By considering a specific dataset, it was observed that a neural network completely misclassifies a projection of the training data (adversarial set), rendering any existing generalization bound based on uniform convergence vacuous. We provide an extensive theoretical investigation of the previously studied data setting through the lens of infinitely-wide models. We prove that the Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) also suffers from the same phenomenon and we uncover its origin. We highlight the important role of the output bias and show theoretically as well as empirically how a sensible choice completely mitigates the problem. We identify sharp phase transitions in the accuracy on the adversarial set and study its dependency on the training sample size. As a result, we are able to characterize critical sample sizes beyond which the effect disappears. Moreover, we study decompositions of a neural network into a clean and noisy part by considering its canonical decomposition into its different eigenfunctions and show empirically that for too small bias the adversarial phenomenon still persists.

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Thu 22 July 5:50 - 5:55 PDT

(Q&A)
Q&A

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