Towards a General Theory of Infinite-Width Limits of Neural Classifiers

Eugene Golikov
Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 119:3617-3626, 2020.

Abstract

Obtaining theoretical guarantees for neural networks training appears to be a hard problem in a general case. Recent research has been focused on studying this problem in the limit of infinite width and two different theories have been developed: a mean-field (MF) and a constant kernel (NTK) limit theories. We propose a general framework that provides a link between these seemingly distinct theories. Our framework out of the box gives rise to a discrete-time MF limit which was not previously explored in the literature. We prove a convergence theorem for it, and show that it provides a more reasonable approximation for finite-width nets compared to the NTK limit if learning rates are not very small. Also, our framework suggests a limit model that coincides neither with the MF limit nor with the NTK one. We show that for networks with more than two hidden layers RMSProp training has a non-trivial discrete-time MF limit but GD training does not have one. Overall, our framework demonstrates that both MF and NTK limits have considerable limitations in approximating finite-sized neural nets, indicating the need for designing more accurate infinite-width approximations for them.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v119-golikov20a, title = {Towards a General Theory of Infinite-Width Limits of Neural Classifiers}, author = {Golikov, Eugene}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning}, pages = {3617--3626}, year = {2020}, editor = {Hal Daumé III and Aarti Singh}, volume = {119}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, month = {13--18 Jul}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/golikov20a/golikov20a.pdf}, url = { http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/golikov20a.html }, abstract = {Obtaining theoretical guarantees for neural networks training appears to be a hard problem in a general case. Recent research has been focused on studying this problem in the limit of infinite width and two different theories have been developed: a mean-field (MF) and a constant kernel (NTK) limit theories. We propose a general framework that provides a link between these seemingly distinct theories. Our framework out of the box gives rise to a discrete-time MF limit which was not previously explored in the literature. We prove a convergence theorem for it, and show that it provides a more reasonable approximation for finite-width nets compared to the NTK limit if learning rates are not very small. Also, our framework suggests a limit model that coincides neither with the MF limit nor with the NTK one. We show that for networks with more than two hidden layers RMSProp training has a non-trivial discrete-time MF limit but GD training does not have one. Overall, our framework demonstrates that both MF and NTK limits have considerable limitations in approximating finite-sized neural nets, indicating the need for designing more accurate infinite-width approximations for them.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T Towards a General Theory of Infinite-Width Limits of Neural Classifiers %A Eugene Golikov %B Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2020 %E Hal Daumé III %E Aarti Singh %F pmlr-v119-golikov20a %I PMLR %P 3617--3626 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/golikov20a.html %V 119 %X Obtaining theoretical guarantees for neural networks training appears to be a hard problem in a general case. Recent research has been focused on studying this problem in the limit of infinite width and two different theories have been developed: a mean-field (MF) and a constant kernel (NTK) limit theories. We propose a general framework that provides a link between these seemingly distinct theories. Our framework out of the box gives rise to a discrete-time MF limit which was not previously explored in the literature. We prove a convergence theorem for it, and show that it provides a more reasonable approximation for finite-width nets compared to the NTK limit if learning rates are not very small. Also, our framework suggests a limit model that coincides neither with the MF limit nor with the NTK one. We show that for networks with more than two hidden layers RMSProp training has a non-trivial discrete-time MF limit but GD training does not have one. Overall, our framework demonstrates that both MF and NTK limits have considerable limitations in approximating finite-sized neural nets, indicating the need for designing more accurate infinite-width approximations for them.
APA
Golikov, E.. (2020). Towards a General Theory of Infinite-Width Limits of Neural Classifiers. Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Machine Learning, in Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 119:3617-3626 Available from http://proceedings.mlr.press/v119/golikov20a.html .

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