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# An Exact Kernel Equivalence for Finite Classification Models

*Proceedings of 2nd Annual Workshop on Topology, Algebra, and Geometry in Machine Learning (TAG-ML)*, PMLR 221:206-217, 2023.

#### Abstract

We explore the equivalence between neural networks and kernel methods by deriving the first exact representation of any finite-size parametric classification model trained with gradient descent as a kernel machine. We compare our exact representation to the well-known Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) and discuss approximation error relative to the NTK and other non-exact path kernel formulations. We experimentally demonstrate that the kernel can be computed for realistic networks up to machine precision. We use this exact kernel to show that our theoretical contribution can provide useful insights into the predictions made by neural networks, particularly the way in which they generalize.