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Penalizing Gradient Norm for Efficiently Improving Generalization in Deep Learning

Yang Zhao · Hao Zhang · Xiuyuan Hu

Hall E #305

Keywords: [ DL: Everything Else ] [ Optimization ] [ DL: Algorithms ]


How to train deep neural networks (DNNs) to generalize well is a central concern in deep learning, especially for severely overparameterized networks nowadays. In this paper, we propose an effective method to improve the model generalization by additionally penalizing the gradient norm of loss function during optimization. We demonstrate that confining the gradient norm of loss function could help lead the optimizers towards finding flat minima. We leverage the first-order approximation to efficiently implement the corresponding gradient to fit well in the gradient descent framework. In our experiments, we confirm that when using our methods, generalization performance of various models could be improved on different datasets. Also, we show that the recent sharpness-aware minimization method (Foretet al., 2021) is a special, but not the best, case of our method, where the best case of our method could give new state-of-art performance on these tasks. Code is available at

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