Constrained Parameter Inference as a Principle for Learning

Published: 30 Jan 2023, Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: Learning in neural networks is often framed as a problem in which targeted error signals are directly propagated to parameters and used to produce updates that induce more optimal network behaviour. Backpropagation of error (BP) is an example of such an approach and has proven to be a highly successful application of stochastic gradient descent to deep neural networks. We propose constrained parameter inference (COPI) as a new principle for learning. The COPI approach assumes that learning can be set up in a manner where parameters infer their own values based upon observations of their local neuron activities. We find that this estimation of network parameters is possible under the constraints of decorrelated neural inputs and top-down perturbations of neural states for credit assignment. We show that the decorrelation required for COPI allows learning at extremely high learning rates, competitive with that of adaptive optimizers, as used by BP. We further demonstrate that COPI affords a new approach to feature analysis and network compression. Finally, we argue that COPI may shed new light on learning in biological networks given the evidence for decorrelation in the brain.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Length: Regular submission (no more than 12 pages of main content)
Assigned Action Editor: ~Robert_Legenstein1
Submission Number: 632