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Bayesian Deep Ensembles via the Neural Tangent Kernel
Bobby He · Balaji Lakshminarayanan · Yee Whye Teh

Thu Dec 10 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 5 #1616

We explore the link between deep ensembles and Gaussian processes (GPs) through the lens of the Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK): a recent development in understanding the training dynamics of wide neural networks (NNs). Previous work has shown that even in the infinite width limit, when NNs become GPs, there is no GP posterior interpretation to a deep ensemble trained with squared error loss. We introduce a simple modification to standard deep ensembles training, through addition of a computationally-tractable, randomised and untrainable function to each ensemble member, that enables a posterior interpretation in the infinite width limit. When ensembled together, our trained NNs give an approximation to a posterior predictive distribution, and we prove that our Bayesian deep ensembles make more conservative predictions than standard deep ensembles in the infinite width limit. Finally, using finite width NNs we demonstrate that our Bayesian deep ensembles faithfully emulate the analytic posterior predictive when available, and outperform standard deep ensembles in various out-of-distribution settings, for both regression and classification tasks.

Author Information

Bobby He (University of Oxford)
Balaji Lakshminarayanan (Google Brain)
Yee Whye Teh (University of Oxford, DeepMind)

I am a Professor of Statistical Machine Learning at the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford and a Research Scientist at DeepMind. I am also an Alan Turing Institute Fellow and a European Research Council Consolidator Fellow. I obtained my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto (working with Geoffrey Hinton), and did postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley (with Michael Jordan) and National University of Singapore (as Lee Kuan Yew Postdoctoral Fellow). I was a Lecturer then a Reader at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL, and a tutorial fellow at University College Oxford, prior to my current appointment. I am interested in the statistical and computational foundations of intelligence, and works on scalable machine learning, probabilistic models, Bayesian nonparametrics and deep learning. I was programme co-chair of ICML 2017 and AISTATS 2010.

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