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Data Representations' Study of Latent Image Manifolds

Ilya Kaufman · Omri Azencot

Exhibit Hall 1 #500
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Deep neural networks have been demonstrated to achieve phenomenal success in many domains, and yet their inner mechanisms are not well understood. In this paper, we investigate the curvature of image manifolds, i.e., the manifold deviation from being flat in its principal directions. We find that state-of-the-art trained convolutional neural networks for image classification have a characteristic curvature profile along layers: an initial steep increase, followed by a long phase of a plateau, and followed by another increase. In contrast, this behavior does not appear in untrained networks in which the curvature flattens. We also show that the curvature gap between the last two layers has a strong correlation with the generalization capability of the network. Moreover, we find that the intrinsic dimension of latent codes is not necessarily indicative of curvature. Finally, we observe that common regularization methods such as mixup yield flatter representations when compared to other methods. Our experiments show consistent results over a variety of deep learning architectures and multiple data sets.

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