VARIATIONAL SGD: DROPOUT , GENERALIZATION AND CRITICAL POINT AT THE END OF CONVEXITY

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: The goal of the paper is to propose an algorithm for learning the most generalizable solution from given training data. It is shown that Bayesian approach leads to a solution that dependent on statistics of training data and not on particular samples. The solution is stable under perturbations of training data because it is defined by an integral contribution of multiple maxima of the likelihood and not by a single global maximum. Specifically, the Bayesian probability distribution of parameters (weights) of a probabilistic model given by a neural network is estimated via recurrent variational approximations. Derived recurrent update rules correspond to SGD-type rules for finding a minimum of an effective loss that is an average of an original negative log-likelihood over the Gaussian distributions of weights, which makes it a function of means and variances. The effective loss is convex for large variances and non-convex in the limit of small variances. Among stationary solutions of the update rules there are trivial solutions with zero variances at local minima of the original loss and a single non-trivial solution with finite variances that is a critical point at the end of convexity of the effective loss in the mean-variance space. At the critical point both first- and second-order gradients of the effective loss w.r.t. means are zero. The empirical study confirms that the critical point represents the most generalizable solution. While the location of the critical point in the weight space depends on specifics of the used probabilistic model some properties at the critical point are universal and model independent.
  • Keywords: Bayesian inference, neural networks, generalization, critical point solution
  • TL;DR: Proposed method for finding the most generalizable solution that is stable w.r.t. perturbations of trainig data.
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