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Deep Learning/Optimization

Room 318 - 320

Moderator: Jared Tanner


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Thu 21 July 7:30 - 7:35 PDT

Equivariance versus Augmentation for Spherical Images

Jan Gerken · Oscar Carlsson · Hampus Linander · Fredrik Ohlsson · Christoffer Petersson · Daniel Persson

We analyze the role of rotational equivariance in convolutional neural networks (CNNs) applied to spherical images. We compare the performance of the group equivariant networks known as S2CNNs and standard non-equivariant CNNs trained with an increasing amount of data augmentation. The chosen architectures can be considered baseline references for the respective design paradigms. Our models are trained and evaluated on single or multiple items from the MNIST- or FashionMNIST dataset projected onto the sphere. For the task of image classification, which is inherently rotationally invariant, we find that by considerably increasing the amount of data augmentation and the size of the networks, it is possible for the standard CNNs to reach at least the same performance as the equivariant network. In contrast, for the inherently equivariant task of semantic segmentation, the non-equivariant networks are consistently outperformed by the equivariant networks with significantly fewer parameters. We also analyze and compare the inference latency and training times of the different networks, enabling detailed tradeoff considerations between equivariant architectures and data augmentation for practical problems.

Thu 21 July 7:35 - 7:40 PDT

Optimal Clipping and Magnitude-aware Differentiation for Improved Quantization-aware Training

Charbel Sakr · Steve Dai · Rangha Venkatesan · Brian Zimmer · William Dally · Brucek Khailany

Data clipping is crucial in reducing noise in quantization operations and improving the achievable accuracy of quantization-aware training (QAT). Current practices rely on heuristics to set clipping threshold scalars and cannot be shown to be optimal. We propose Optimally Clipped Tensors And Vectors (OCTAV), a recursive algorithm to determine MSE-optimal clipping scalars. Derived from the fast Newton-Raphson method, OCTAV finds optimal clipping scalars on the fly, for every tensor, at every iteration of the QAT routine. Thus, the QAT algorithm is formulated with provably minimum quantization noise at each step. In addition, we reveal limitations in common gradient estimation techniques in QAT and propose magnitude-aware differentiation as a remedy to further improve accuracy. Experimentally, OCTAV-enabled QAT achieves state-of-the-art accuracy on multiple tasks. These include training-from-scratch and retraining ResNets and MobileNets on ImageNet, and Squad fine-tuning using BERT models, where OCTAV-enabled QAT consistently preserves accuracy at low precision (4-to-6-bits). Our results require no modifications to the baseline training recipe, except for the insertion of quantization operations where appropriate.

Thu 21 July 7:40 - 7:45 PDT

Neural Network Poisson Models for Behavioural and Neural Spike Train Data

Moein Khajehnejad · Forough Habibollahi · Richard Nock · Ehsan Arabzadeh · Peter Dayan · Amir Dezfouli

One of the most important and challenging application areas for complex machine learning methods is to predict, characterize and model rich, multi-dimensional, neural data. Recent advances in neural recording techniques have made it possible to monitor the activity of a large number of neurons across different brain regions as animals perform behavioural tasks. This poses the critical challenge of establishing links between neural activity at a microscopic scale, which might for instance represent sensory input, and at a macroscopic scale, which then generates behaviour. Predominant modeling methods apply rather disjoint techniques to these scales; by contrast, we suggest an end-to-end model which exploits recent developments of flexible, but tractable, neural network point-process models to characterize dependencies between stimuli, actions, and neural data. We apply this model to a public dataset collected using Neuropixel probes in mice performing a visually-guided behavioural task as well as a synthetic dataset produced from a hierarchical network model with reciprocally connected sensory and integration circuits intended to characterize animal behaviour in a fixed-duration motion discrimination task. We show that our model outperforms previous approaches and contributes novel insights into the relationships between neural activity and behaviour.

Thu 21 July 7:45 - 7:50 PDT

A Branch and Bound Framework for Stronger Adversarial Attacks of ReLU Networks

Huan Zhang · Shiqi Wang · Kaidi Xu · Yihan Wang · Suman Jana · Cho-Jui Hsieh · Zico Kolter

Strong adversarial attacks are important for evaluating the true robustness of deep neural networks. Most existing attacks search in the input space, e.g., using gradient descent, and may miss adversarial examples due to non-convexity. In this work, we systematically search adversarial examples in the activation space of ReLU networks to tackle hard instances where none of the existing adversarial attacks succeed. Unfortunately, searching the activation space typically relies on generic mixed integer programming (MIP) solvers and is limited to small networks and easy problem instances. To improve scalability and practicability, we use branch and bound (BaB) with specialized GPU-based bound propagation methods, and propose a top-down beam-search approach to quickly identify the subspace that may contain adversarial examples. Moreover, we build an adversarial candidates pool using cheap attacks to further assist the search in activation space via diving techniques and a bottom-up large neighborhood search. Our adversarial attack framework, BaB-Attack, opens up a new opportunity for designing novel adversarial attacks not limited to searching the input space, and enables us to borrow techniques from integer programming theory and neural network verification. In experiments, we can successfully generate adversarial examples when existing attacks on input space fail. Compared to off-the-shelf MIP solver based attacks that requires significant computations, we outperform in both success rates and efficiency.

Thu 21 July 7:50 - 7:55 PDT

GACT: Activation Compressed Training for Generic Network Architectures

Xiaoxuan Liu · Lianmin Zheng · Dequan Wang · Yukuo Cen · Weize Chen · Xu Han · Jianfei Chen · Zhiyuan Liu · Jie Tang · Joseph Gonzalez · Michael Mahoney · Alvin Cheung

Training large neural network (NN) models requires extensive memory resources, and Activation Compression Training (ACT) is a promising approach to reduce training memory footprint. This paper presents GACT, an ACT framework to support a broad range of machine learning tasks for generic NN architectures with limited domain knowledge. By analyzing a linearized version of ACT’s approximate gradient, we prove the convergence of GACT without prior knowledge on operator type or model architecture. To make training stable, we propose an algorithm that decides the compression ratio for each tensor by estimating its impact on the gradient at run time. We implement GACT as a PyTorch library that readily applies to any NN architecture. GACT reduces the activation memory for convolutional NNs, transformers, and graph NNs by up to 8.1x, enabling training with a 4.2x to 24.7x larger batch size, with negligible accuracy loss.

Thu 21 July 7:55 - 8:00 PDT

Fast Finite Width Neural Tangent Kernel

Roman Novak · Jascha Sohl-Dickstein · Samuel Schoenholz

The Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK), defined as the outer product of the neural network (NN) Jacobians, has emerged as a central object of study in deep learning. In the infinite width limit, the NTK can sometimes be computed analytically and is useful for understanding training and generalization of NN architectures. At finite widths, the NTK is also used to better initialize NNs, compare the conditioning across models, perform architecture search, and do meta-learning. Unfortunately, the finite width NTK is notoriously expensive to compute, which severely limits its practical utility. We perform the first in-depth analysis of the compute and memory requirements for NTK computation in finite width networks. Leveraging the structure of neural networks, we further propose two novel algorithms that change the exponent of the compute and memory requirements of the finite width NTK, dramatically improving efficiency.Our algorithms can be applied in a black box fashion to any differentiable function, including those implementing neural networks.We open-source our implementations within the Neural Tangents package at

Thu 21 July 8:00 - 8:20 PDT

Outstanding Paper
G-Mixup: Graph Data Augmentation for Graph Classification

Xiaotian Han · Zhimeng Jiang · Ninghao Liu · Xia Hu

This work develops mixup for graph data. Mixup has shown superiority in improving the generalization and robustness of neural networks by interpolating features and labels between two random samples. Traditionally, Mixup can work on regular, grid-like, and Euclidean data such as image or tabular data. However, it is challenging to directly adopt Mixup to augment graph data because different graphs typically: 1) have different numbers of nodes; 2) are not readily aligned; and 3) have unique typologies in non-Euclidean space. To this end, we propose G-Mixup to augment graphs for graph classification by interpolating the generator (i.e., graphon) of different classes of graphs. Specifically, we first use graphs within the same class to estimate a graphon. Then, instead of directly manipulating graphs, we interpolate graphons of different classes in the Euclidean space to get mixed graphons, where the synthetic graphs are generated through sampling based on the mixed graphons. Extensive experiments show that G-Mixup substantially improves the generalization and robustness of GNNs.

Thu 21 July 8:20 - 8:25 PDT

Universal Hopfield Networks: A General Framework for Single-Shot Associative Memory Models

Beren Millidge · Tommaso Salvatori · Yuhang Song · Thomas Lukasiewicz · Rafal Bogacz

A large number of neural network models of associative memory have been proposed in the literature. These include the classical Hopfield networks (HNs), sparse distributed memories (SDMs), and more recently the modern continuous Hopfield networks (MCHNs), which possess close links with self-attention in machine learning. In this paper, we propose a general framework for understanding the operation of such memory networks as a sequence of three operations: similarity, separation, and projection. We derive all these memory models as instances of our general framework with differing similarity and separation functions. We extend the mathematical framework of Krotov et al (2020) to express general associative memory models using neural network dynamics with local computation, and derive a general energy function that is a Lyapunov function of the dynamics. Finally, using our framework, we empirically investigate the capacity of using different similarity functions for these associative memory models, beyond the dot product similarity measure, and demonstrate empirically that Euclidean or Manhattan distance similarity metrics perform substantially better in practice on many tasks, enabling a more robust retrieval and higher memory capacity than existing~models.

Thu 21 July 8:25 - 8:30 PDT

Multi-Grained Vision Language Pre-Training: Aligning Texts with Visual Concepts

Yan Zeng · Xinsong Zhang · Hang Li

Most existing methods in vision language pre-training rely on object-centric features extracted through object detection and make fine-grained alignments between the extracted features and texts. It is challenging for these methods to learn relations among multiple objects. To this end, we propose a new method called X-VLM to perform `multi-grained vision language pre-training.' The key to learning multi-grained alignments is to locate visual concepts in the image given the associated texts, and in the meantime align the texts with the visual concepts, where the alignments are in multi-granularity. Experimental results show that X-VLM effectively leverages the learned multi-grained alignments to many downstream vision language tasks and consistently outperforms state-of-the-art methods.

Thu 21 July 8:30 - 8:35 PDT

Continual Learning with Guarantees via Weight Interval Constraints

Maciej Wołczyk · Karol J. Piczak · Bartosz Wójcik · Łukasz Pustelnik · Paweł Morawiecki · Jacek Tabor · Tomasz Trzcinski · Przemysław Spurek

We introduce a new training paradigm that enforces interval constraints on neural network parameter space to control forgetting. Contemporary Continual Learning (CL) methods focus on training neural networks efficiently from a stream of data, while reducing the negative impact of catastrophic forgetting, yet they do not provide any firm guarantees that network performance will not deteriorate uncontrollably over time. In this work, we show how to put bounds on forgetting by reformulating continual learning of a model as a continual contraction of its parameter space. To that end, we propose Hyperrectangle Training, a new training methodology where each task is represented by a hyperrectangle in the parameter space, fully contained in the hyperrectangles of the previous tasks. This formulation reduces the NP-hard CL problem back to polynomial time while providing full resilience against forgetting. We validate our claim by developing InterContiNet (Interval Continual Learning) algorithm which leverages interval arithmetic to effectively model parameter regions as hyperrectangles. Through experimental results, we show that our approach performs well in a continual learning setup without storing data from previous tasks.

Thu 21 July 8:35 - 8:40 PDT

Faster Fundamental Graph Algorithms via Learned Predictions

Justin Chen · Sandeep Silwal · Ali Vakilian · Fred Zhang

We consider the question of speeding up classic graph algorithms with machine-learned predictions. In this model, algorithms are furnished with extra advice learned from past or similar instances. Given the additional information, we aim to improve upon the traditional worst-case run-time guarantees. Our contributions are the following:(i) We give a faster algorithm for minimum-weight bipartite matching via learned duals, improving the recent result by Dinitz, Im, Lavastida, Moseley and Vassilvitskii (NeurIPS, 2021);(ii) We extend the learned dual approach to the single-source shortest path problem (with negative edge lengths), achieving an almost linear runtime given sufficiently accurate predictions which improves upon the classic fastest algorithm due to Goldberg (SIAM J. Comput., 1995);(iii) We provide a general reduction-based framework for learning-based graph algorithms, leading to new algorithms for degree-constrained subgraph and minimum-cost 0-1 flow, based on reductions to bipartite matching and the shortest path problem.Finally, we give a set of general learnability theorems, showing that the predictions required by our algorithms can be efficiently learned in a PAC fashion.

Thu 21 July 8:40 - 8:45 PDT

Practical Almost-Linear-Time Approximation Algorithms for Hybrid and Overlapping Graph Clustering

Lorenzo Orecchia · Konstantinos Ameranis · Charalampos Tsourakakis · Kunal Talwar

Detecting communities in real-world networks and clustering similarity graphs are major data mining tasks with a wide range of applications in graph mining, collaborative filtering, and bioinformatics. In many such applications, overwhelming empirical evidence suggests that communities and clusters are naturally overlapping, i.e., the boundary of a cluster may contain both edges across clusters and nodes that are shared with other clusters, calling for novel hybrid graph partitioning algorithms (HGP). While almost-linear-time approximation algorithms are known for edge-boundary-based graph partitioning, little progress has been made on fast algorithms for HGP, even in the special case of vertex-boundary-based graph partitioning. In this work, we introduce a frame-work based on two novel clustering objectives, which naturally extend the well-studied notion of conductance to clusters with hybrid vertex-and edge-boundary structure. Our main algorithmic contributions are almost-linear-time algorithms O(log n)-approximation algorithms for both these objectives. To this end, we show that the cut-matching framework of (Khandekar et al., 2014) can be significantly extended to incorporate hybrid partitions. Crucially, we implement our approximation algorithm to produce both hybrid partitions and optimality certificates for large graphs, easily scaling to tens of millions of edges, and test our implementation on real-world datasets against other competitive baselines.

Thu 21 July 8:45 - 8:50 PDT

Fair and Fast k-Center Clustering for Data Summarization

Haris Angelidakis · Adam Kurpisz · Leon Sering · Rico Zenklusen

We consider two key issues faced by many clustering methods when used for data summarization, namely (a) an unfair representation of "demographic groups'' and (b) distorted summarizations, where data points in the summary represent subsets of the original data of vastly different sizes. Previous work made important steps towards handling separately each of these two issues in the context of the fundamental k-Center clustering objective through the study of fast algorithms for natural models that address them.We show that it is possible to effectively address both (a) and (b) simultaneously by presenting a clustering procedure that works for a canonical combined model and(i) is fast, both in theory and practice,(ii) exhibits a worst-case constant-factor guarantee, and (iii) gives promising computational results showing that there can be significant benefits in addressing both issues together instead of sequentially.

Thu 21 July 8:50 - 8:55 PDT

Online and Consistent Correlation Clustering

Vincent Cohen-Addad · Silvio Lattanzi · Andreas Maggiori · Nikos Parotsidis

In the correlation clustering problem the input is a signed graph where the sign indicates whether each pair of points should be placed in the same cluster or not. The goal of the problem is to compute a clustering which minimizes the number of disagreements with such recommendation. Thanks to its many practical applications, correlation clustering is a fundamental unsupervised learning problem and has been extensively studied in many different settings. In this paper we study the problem in the classic online setting with recourse; The vertices of the graphs arrive in an online manner and the goal is to maintain an approximate clustering while minimizing the number of times each vertex changes cluster. Our main contribution is an algorithm that achieves logarithmic recourse per vertex in the worst case. We also complement this result with a tight lower bound. Finally we show experimentally that our algorithm achieves better performances than state-of-the-art algorithms on real world data.

Thu 21 July 8:55 - 9:00 PDT

Generalized Leverage Scores: Geometric Interpretation and Applications

Bruno Ordozgoiti · Antonis Matakos · Aristides Gionis

In problems involving matrix computations, the concept of leverage has found a large number of applications. In particular, leverage scores, which relate the columns of a matrix to the subspaces spanned by its leading singular vectors, are helpful in revealing column subsets to approximately factorize a matrix with quality guarantees. As such, they provide a solid foundation for a variety of machine-learning methods. In this paper we extend the definition of leverage scores to relate the columns of a matrix to arbitrary subsets of singular vectors. We establish a precise connection between column and singular-vector subsets, by relating the concepts of leverage scores and principal angles between subspaces. We employ this result to design approximation algorithms with provable guarantees for two well-known problems: generalized column subset selection and sparse canonical correlation analysis. We run numerical experiments to provide further insight on the proposed methods. The novel bounds we derive improve our understanding of fundamental concepts in matrix approximations. In addition, our insights may serve as building blocks for further contributions.