Benign Overfitting in Linear Classifiers and Leaky ReLU Networks from KKT Conditions for Margin Maximization
Proceedings of Thirty Sixth Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 195:3173-3228, 2023.
Linear classifiers and leaky ReLU networks trained by gradient flow on the logistic loss have an implicit bias towards solutions which satisfy the Karush–Kuhn–Tucker (KKT) conditions for margin maximization. In this work we establish a number of settings where the satisfaction of these KKT conditions implies benign overfitting in linear classifiers and in two-layer leaky ReLU networks: the estimators interpolate noisy training data and simultaneously generalize well to test data. The settings include variants of the noisy class-conditional Gaussians considered in previous work as well as new distributional settings where benign overfitting has not been previously observed. The key ingredient to our proof is the observation that when the training data is nearly-orthogonal, both linear classifiers and leaky ReLU networks satisfying the KKT conditions for their respective margin maximization problems behave like a weighted average of the training examples.