Learning Backpropagation-Free Deep Architectures with Kernels

Shiyu Duan, Shujian Yu, Yunmei Chen, Jose Principe

Sep 27, 2018 Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: One can substitute each neuron in any neural network with a kernel machine and obtain a counterpart powered by kernel machines. The new network inherits the expressive power and architecture of the original but works in a more intuitive way since each node enjoys the simple interpretation as a hyperplane (in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space). Further, using the kernel multilayer perceptron as an example, we prove that in classification, an optimal representation that minimizes the risk of the network can be characterized for each hidden layer. This result removes the need of backpropagation in learning the model and can be generalized to any feedforward kernel network. Moreover, unlike backpropagation, which turns models into black boxes, the optimal hidden representation enjoys an intuitive geometric interpretation, making the dynamics of learning in a deep kernel network simple to understand. Empirical results are provided to validate our theory.
  • Keywords: supervised learning, backpropagation-free deep architecture, kernel method
  • TL;DR: We combine kernel method with connectionist models and show that the resulting deep architectures can be trained layer-wise and have more transparent learning dynamics.
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