The Power of Depth for Feedforward Neural Networks

Ronen Eldan, Ohad Shamir
; 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 49:907-940, 2016.

Abstract

We show that there is a simple (approximately radial) function on \mathbbR^d, expressible by a small 3-layer feedforward neural networks, which cannot be approximated by any 2-layer network, to more than a certain constant accuracy, unless its width is exponential in the dimension. The result holds for virtually all known activation functions, including rectified linear units, sigmoids and thresholds, and formally demonstrates that depth – even if increased by 1 – can be exponentially more valuable than width for standard feedforward neural networks. Moreover, compared to related results in the context of Boolean functions, our result requires fewer assumptions, and the proof techniques and construction are very different.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v49-eldan16, title = {The Power of Depth for Feedforward Neural Networks}, author = {Ronen Eldan and Ohad Shamir}, booktitle = {29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory}, pages = {907--940}, year = {2016}, editor = {Vitaly Feldman and Alexander Rakhlin and Ohad Shamir}, volume = {49}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, address = {Columbia University, New York, New York, USA}, month = {23--26 Jun}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/eldan16.pdf}, url = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/eldan16.html}, abstract = {We show that there is a simple (approximately radial) function on \mathbbR^d, expressible by a small 3-layer feedforward neural networks, which cannot be approximated by any 2-layer network, to more than a certain constant accuracy, unless its width is exponential in the dimension. The result holds for virtually all known activation functions, including rectified linear units, sigmoids and thresholds, and formally demonstrates that depth – even if increased by 1 – can be exponentially more valuable than width for standard feedforward neural networks. Moreover, compared to related results in the context of Boolean functions, our result requires fewer assumptions, and the proof techniques and construction are very different. } }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T The Power of Depth for Feedforward Neural Networks %A Ronen Eldan %A Ohad Shamir %B 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2016 %E Vitaly Feldman %E Alexander Rakhlin %E Ohad Shamir %F pmlr-v49-eldan16 %I PMLR %J Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %P 907--940 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press %V 49 %W PMLR %X We show that there is a simple (approximately radial) function on \mathbbR^d, expressible by a small 3-layer feedforward neural networks, which cannot be approximated by any 2-layer network, to more than a certain constant accuracy, unless its width is exponential in the dimension. The result holds for virtually all known activation functions, including rectified linear units, sigmoids and thresholds, and formally demonstrates that depth – even if increased by 1 – can be exponentially more valuable than width for standard feedforward neural networks. Moreover, compared to related results in the context of Boolean functions, our result requires fewer assumptions, and the proof techniques and construction are very different.
RIS
TY - CPAPER TI - The Power of Depth for Feedforward Neural Networks AU - Ronen Eldan AU - Ohad Shamir BT - 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory PY - 2016/06/06 DA - 2016/06/06 ED - Vitaly Feldman ED - Alexander Rakhlin ED - Ohad Shamir ID - pmlr-v49-eldan16 PB - PMLR SP - 907 DP - PMLR EP - 940 L1 - http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/eldan16.pdf UR - http://proceedings.mlr.press/v49/eldan16.html AB - We show that there is a simple (approximately radial) function on \mathbbR^d, expressible by a small 3-layer feedforward neural networks, which cannot be approximated by any 2-layer network, to more than a certain constant accuracy, unless its width is exponential in the dimension. The result holds for virtually all known activation functions, including rectified linear units, sigmoids and thresholds, and formally demonstrates that depth – even if increased by 1 – can be exponentially more valuable than width for standard feedforward neural networks. Moreover, compared to related results in the context of Boolean functions, our result requires fewer assumptions, and the proof techniques and construction are very different. ER -
APA
Eldan, R. & Shamir, O.. (2016). The Power of Depth for Feedforward Neural Networks. 29th Annual Conference on Learning Theory, in PMLR 49:907-940

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