- TL;DR: New techniques to enhance the convolutional neural tangent kernel which can match the performance of AlexNet on CIFAR-10.
- Abstract: Recent research shows that for training with l2 loss, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) whose width (number of channels in convolutional layers) goes to infinity, correspond to regression with respect to the CNN Gaussian Process kernel (CNN-GP) if only the last layer is trained, and correspond to regression with respect to the Convolutional Neural Tangent Kernel (CNTK) if all layers are trained. An exact algorithm to compute CNTK (Arora et al., 2019) yielded the finding that classification accuracy of CNTK on CIFAR-10 is within 6-7% of that of the corresponding CNN architecture (best figure being around 78%) which is interesting performance for a fixed kernel. Here we show how to significantly enhance the performance of these kernels using two ideas. (1) Modifying the kernel using a new operation called Local Average Pooling (LAP) which preserves efficient computability of the kernel and inherits the spirit of standard data augmentation using pixel shifts. Earlier papers were unable to incorporate naive data augmentation because of the quadratic training cost of kernel regression. This idea is inspired by Global Average Pooling (GAP), which we show for CNN-GP and CNTK, GAP is equivalent to full translation data augmentation. (2) Representing the input image using a pre-processing technique proposed by Coates et al. (2011), which uses a single convolutional layer composed of random image patches. On CIFAR-10 the resulting kernel, CNN-GP with LAP and horizontal flip data augmentation achieves 89% accuracy, matching the performance of AlexNet (Krizhevsky et al., 2012). Note that this is the best such result we know of for a classifier that is not a trained neural network. Similar improvements are obtained for Fashion-MNIST.
- Keywords: neural tangent kernel, data augmentation, global average pooling, kernel regression, deep learning theory, kernel design
- Code: https://github.com/conferencesubmissioncode/ecnk