Metric-Free Natural Gradient for Joint-Training of Boltzmann Machines

Guillaume Desjardins, Razvan Pascanu, Aaron Courville, Yoshua Bengio

Jan 17, 2013 (modified: Jan 17, 2013) ICLR 2013 conference submission readers: everyone
  • Decision: conferencePoster-iclr2013-conference
  • Abstract: This paper introduces the Metric-Free Natural Gradient (MFNG) algorithm for training Boltzmann Machines. Similar in spirit to the Hessian-Free method of Martens [8], our algorithm belongs to the family of truncated Newton methods and exploits an efficient matrix-vector product to avoid explicitely storing the natural gradient metric $L$. This metric is shown to be the expected second derivative of the log-partition function (under the model distribution), or equivalently, the variance of the vector of partial derivatives of the energy function. We evaluate our method on the task of joint-training a 3-layer Deep Boltzmann Machine and show that MFNG does indeed have faster per-epoch convergence compared to Stochastic Maximum Likelihood with centering, though wall-clock performance is currently not competitive.