Universality Patterns in the Training of Neural Networks

May 17, 2019 Blind Submission readers: everyone
  • Keywords: Universality, surrogate loss, neural networks, deep learning
  • TL;DR: We identify some universal patterns (i.e., holding across architectures) in the behavior of different surrogate losses (CE, MSE, 0-1 loss) while training neural networks and present supporting empirical evidence.
  • Abstract: This paper proposes and demonstrates a surprising pattern in the training of neural networks: there is a one to one relation between the values of any pair of losses (such as cross entropy, mean squared error, 0/1 error etc.) evaluated for a model arising at (any point of) a training run. This pattern is universal in the sense that this one to one relationship is identical across architectures (such as VGG, Resnet, Densenet etc.), algorithms (SGD and SGD with momentum) and training loss functions (cross entropy and mean squared error).
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