A comparison of second-order methods for deep convolutional neural networks


Nov 03, 2017 (modified: Nov 03, 2017) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Despite many second-order methods have been proposed to train neural networks, most of the results were done on smaller single layer fully connected networks, so we still cannot conclude whether it's useful in training deep convolutional networks. In this study, we conduct extensive experiments to answer the question "whether second-order method is useful for deep learning?". In our analysis, we find out although currently second-order methods are too slow to be applied in practice, it can reduce training loss in fewer number of iterations compared with SGD. In addition, we have the following interesting findings: (1) When using a large batch size, inexact-Newton methods will converge much faster than SGD. Therefore inexact-Newton method could be a better choice in distributed training of deep networks. (2) Quasi-newton methods are competitive with SGD even when using ReLu activation function (which has no curvature) on residual networks. However, current methods are too sensitive to parameters and not easy to tune for different settings. Therefore, quasi-newton methods with more self-adjusting mechanisms might be more useful than SGD in training deeper networks.