Deep Neural Networks as Gaussian Processes


Nov 03, 2017 (modified: Jan 05, 2018) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: A deep fully-connected neural network with an i.i.d. prior over its parameters is equivalent to a Gaussian process (GP) in the limit of infinite network width. This correspondence enables exact Bayesian inference for neural networks on regression tasks by means of straightforward matrix computations. For single hidden-layer networks, the covariance function of this GP has long been known. Recently, kernel functions for multi-layer random neural networks have been developed, but only outside of a Bayesian framework. As such, previous work has not identified the correspondence between using these kernels as the covariance function for a GP and performing fully Bayesian prediction with a deep neural network. In this work, we derive this correspondence and develop a computationally efficient pipeline to compute the covariance functions. We then use the resulting GP to perform Bayesian inference for deep neural networks on MNIST and CIFAR-10. We find that the GP-based predictions are competitive and can outperform neural networks trained with stochastic gradient descent. We observe that the trained neural network accuracy approaches that of the corresponding GP-based computation with increasing layer width, and that the GP uncertainty is strongly correlated with prediction error. We connect our observations to the recent development of signal propagation in random neural networks.
  • TL;DR: We show how to make predictions using deep networks, without training deep networks.
  • Keywords: Gaussian process, Bayesian regression, deep networks, kernel methods