Understanding Generalization in Deep Learning via Tensor Methods

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Jingling Li, Yanchao Sun, Jiahao Su, Taiji Suzuki, Furong Huang ;
Proceedings of the Twenty Third International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 108:504-515, 2020.

Abstract

Deep neural networks generalize well on unseen data though the number of parameters often far exceeds the number of training examples. Recently proposed complexity measures have provided insights to understanding the generalizability in neural networks from perspectives of PAC-Bayes, robustness, overparametrization, compression and so on. In this work, we advance the understanding of the relations between the network’s architecture and its generalizability from the compression perspective. Using tensor analysis, we propose a series of intuitive, data-dependent and easily-measurable properties that tightly characterize the compressibility and generalizability of neural networks; thus, in practice, our generalization bound outperforms the previous compression-based ones, especially for neural networks using tensors as their weight kernels (e.g. CNNs). Moreover, these intuitive measurements provide further insights into designing neural network architectures with properties favorable for better/guaranteed generalizability. Our experimental results demonstrate that through the proposed measurable properties, our generalization error bound matches the trend of the test error well. Our theoretical analysis further provides justifications for the empirical success and limitations of some widely-used tensor-based compression approaches. We also discover the improvements to the compressibility and robustness of current neural networks when incorporating tensor operations via our proposed layer-wise structure.

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