## Orals & Spotlights Track 34: Deep Learning

Each Oral includes Q&ASpotlights have joint Q&As

### Time

2020-12-10T18:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T21:00:00-08:00### Session chairs

Tuo Zhao, Jimmy Ba### Video

### Chat

### Chat is not available.

### Schedule

2020-12-10T18:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T18:15:00-08:00

##### 1 - Oral: Is normalization indispensable for training deep neural network?

Jie Shao, Kai Hu, Changhu Wang, Xiangyang Xue, Bhiksha Raj

Normalization operations are widely used to train deep neural networks, and they can improve both convergence and generalization in most tasks. The theories for normalization's effectiveness and new forms of normalization have always been hot topics in research. To better understand normalization, one question can be whether normalization is indispensable for training deep neural network? In this paper, we study what would happen when normalization layers are removed from the network, and show how to train deep neural networks without normalization layers and without performance degradation. Our proposed method can achieve the same or even slightly better performance in a variety of tasks: image classification in ImageNet, object detection and segmentation in MS-COCO, video classification in Kinetics, and machine translation in WMT English-German, etc. Our study may help better understand the role of normalization layers and can be a competitive alternative to normalization layers. Codes are available.

2020-12-10T18:15:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T18:30:00-08:00

##### 2 - Oral: Understanding Approximate Fisher Information for Fast Convergence of Natural Gradient Descent in Wide Neural Networks

Ryo Karakida, Kazuki Osawa

Natural Gradient Descent (NGD) helps to accelerate the convergence of gradient descent dynamics, but it requires approximations in large-scale deep neural networks because of its high computational cost. Empirical studies have confirmed that some NGD methods with approximate Fisher information converge sufficiently fast in practice. Nevertheless, it remains unclear from the theoretical perspective why and under what conditions such heuristic approximations work well. In this work, we reveal that, under specific conditions, NGD with approximate Fisher information achieves the same fast convergence to global minima as exact NGD. We consider deep neural networks in the infinite-width limit, and analyze the asymptotic training dynamics of NGD in function space via the neural tangent kernel. In the function space, the training dynamics with the approximate Fisher information are identical to those with the exact Fisher information, and they converge quickly. The fast convergence holds in layer-wise approximations; for instance, in block diagonal approximation where each block corresponds to a layer as well as in block tri-diagonal and K-FAC approximations. We also find that a unit-wise approximation achieves the same fast convergence under some assumptions. All of these different approximations have an isotropic gradient in the function space, and this plays a fundamental role in achieving the same convergence properties in training. Thus, the current study gives a novel and unified theoretical foundation with which to understand NGD methods in deep learning.

2020-12-10T18:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T18:45:00-08:00

##### 3 - Oral: Spectra of the Conjugate Kernel and Neural Tangent Kernel for linear-width neural networks

Zhou Fan, Zhichao Wang

We study the eigenvalue distributions of the Conjugate Kernel and Neural Tangent Kernel associated to multi-layer feedforward neural networks. In an asymptotic regime where network width is increasing linearly in sample size, under random initialization of the weights, and for input samples satisfying a notion of approximate pairwise orthogonality, we show that the eigenvalue distributions of the CK and NTK converge to deterministic limits. The limit for the CK is described by iterating the Marcenko-Pastur map across the hidden layers. The limit for the NTK is equivalent to that of a linear combination of the CK matrices across layers, and may be described by recursive fixed-point equations that extend this Marcenko-Pastur map. We demonstrate the agreement of these asymptotic predictions with the observed spectra for both synthetic and CIFAR-10 training data, and we perform a small simulation to investigate the evolutions of these spectra over training.

2020-12-10T18:45:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T19:00:00-08:00

##### Break

2020-12-10T19:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T19:10:00-08:00

##### 5 - Spotlight: Generalization bound of globally optimal non-convex neural network training: Transportation map estimation by infinite dimensional Langevin dynamics

Taiji Suzuki

We introduce a new theoretical framework to analyze deep learning optimization with connection to its generalization error. Existing frameworks such as mean field theory and neural tangent kernel theory for neural network optimization analysis typically require taking limit of infinite width of the network to show its global convergence. This potentially makes it difficult to directly deal with finite width network; especially in the neural tangent kernel regime, we cannot reveal favorable properties of neural networks {\it beyond kernel methods}. To realize more natural analysis, we consider a completely different approach in which we formulate the parameter training as a transportation map estimation and show its global convergence via the theory of the {\it infinite dimensional Langevin dynamics}. This enables us to analyze narrow and wide networks in a unifying manner. Moreover, we give generalization gap and excess risk bounds for the solution obtained by the dynamics. The excess risk bound achieves the so-called fast learning rate. In particular, we show an exponential convergence for a classification problem and a minimax optimal rate for a regression problem.

2020-12-10T19:10:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T19:20:00-08:00

##### 6 - Spotlight: Kernel Based Progressive Distillation for Adder Neural Networks

Yixing Xu, Chang Xu, Xinghao Chen, Wei Zhang, Chunjing XU, Yunhe Wang

Adder Neural Networks (ANNs) which only contain additions bring us a new way of developing deep neural networks with low energy consumption. Unfortunately, there is an accuracy drop when replacing all convolution filters by adder filters. The main reason here is the optimization difficulty of ANNs using $\ell_1$-norm, in which the estimation of gradient in back propagation is inaccurate. In this paper, we present a novel method for further improving the performance of ANNs without increasing the trainable parameters via a progressive kernel based knowledge distillation (PKKD) method. A convolutional neural network (CNN) with the same architecture is simultaneously initialized and trained as a teacher network, features and weights of ANN and CNN will be transformed to a new space to eliminate the accuracy drop. The similarity is conducted in a higher-dimensional space to disentangle the difference of their distributions using a kernel based method. Finally, the desired ANN is learned based on the information from both the ground-truth and teacher, progressively. The effectiveness of the proposed method for learning ANN with higher performance is then well-verified on several benchmarks. For instance, the ANN-50 trained using the proposed PKKD method obtains a 76.8\% top-1 accuracy on ImageNet dataset, which is 0.6\% higher than that of the ResNet-50.

2020-12-10T19:20:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T19:30:00-08:00

##### 7 - Spotlight: What Neural Networks Memorize and Why: Discovering the Long Tail via Influence Estimation

Vitaly Feldman, Chiyuan Zhang

Deep learning algorithms are well-known to have a propensity for fitting the training data very well and often fit even outliers and mislabeled data points. Such fitting requires memorization of training data labels, a phenomenon that has attracted significant research interest but has not been given a compelling explanation so far. A recent work of Feldman (2019) proposes a theoretical explanation for this phenomenon based on a combination of two insights. First, natural image and data distributions are (informally) known to be long-tailed, that is have a significant fraction of rare and atypical examples. Second, in a simple theoretical model such memorization is necessary for achieving close-to-optimal generalization error when the data distribution is long-tailed. However, no direct empirical evidence for this explanation or even an approach for obtaining such evidence were given. In this work we design experiments to test the key ideas in this theory. The experiments require estimation of the influence of each training example on the accuracy at each test example as well as memorization values of training examples. Estimating these quantities directly is computationally prohibitive but we show that closely-related subsampled influence and memorization values can be estimated much more efficiently. Our experiments demonstrate the significant benefits of memorization for generalization on several standard benchmarks. They also provide quantitative and visually compelling evidence for the theory put forth in Feldman (2019).

2020-12-10T19:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T19:40:00-08:00

##### 8 - Spotlight: Collegial Ensembles

Etai Littwin, Ben Myara, Sima Sabah, Joshua Susskind, Shuangfei Zhai, Oren Golan

Modern neural network performance typically improves as model size increases. A recent line of research on the Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) of over-parameterized networks indicates that the improvement with size increase is a product of a better conditioned loss landscape. In this work, we investigate a form of over-parameterization achieved through ensembling, where we define collegial ensembles (CE) as the aggregation of multiple independent models with identical architectures, trained as a single model. We show that the optimization dynamics of CE simplify dramatically when the number of models in the ensemble is large, resembling the dynamics of wide models, yet scale much more favorably. We use recent theoretical results on the finite width corrections of the NTK to perform efficient architecture search in a space of finite width CE that aims to either minimize capacity, or maximize trainability under a set of constraints. The resulting ensembles can be efficiently implemented in practical architectures using group convolutions and block diagonal layers. Finally, we show how our framework can be used to analytically derive optimal group convolution modules originally found using expensive grid searches, without having to train a single model.

2020-12-10T19:40:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T19:50:00-08:00

##### Q&A: Joint Q&A for Preceeding Spotlights

2020-12-10T19:50:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T20:00:00-08:00

##### 10 - Spotlight: Finite Versus Infinite Neural Networks: an Empirical Study

Jaehoon Lee, Sam Schoenholz, Jeffrey Pennington, Ben Adlam, Lechao Xiao, Roman Novak, Jascha Sohl-Dickstein

We perform a careful, thorough, and large scale empirical study of the correspondence between wide neural networks and kernel methods. By doing so, we resolve a variety of open questions related to the study of infinitely wide neural networks. Our experimental results include: kernel methods outperform fully-connected finite-width networks, but underperform convolutional finite width networks; neural network Gaussian process (NNGP) kernels frequently outperform neural tangent (NT) kernels; centered and ensembled finite networks have reduced posterior variance and behave more similarly to infinite networks; weight decay and the use of a large learning rate break the correspondence between finite and infinite networks; the NTK parameterization outperforms the standard parameterization for finite width networks; diagonal regularization of kernels acts similarly to early stopping; floating point precision limits kernel performance beyond a critical dataset size; regularized ZCA whitening improves accuracy; finite network performance depends non-monotonically on width in ways not captured by double descent phenomena; equivariance of CNNs is only beneficial for narrow networks far from the kernel regime. Our experiments additionally motivate an improved layer-wise scaling for weight decay which improves generalization in finite-width networks. Finally, we develop improved best practices for using NNGP and NT kernels for prediction, including a novel ensembling technique. Using these best practices we achieve state-of-the-art results on CIFAR-10 classification for kernels corresponding to each architecture class we consider.

2020-12-10T20:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T20:10:00-08:00

##### 11 - Spotlight: Estimating Training Data Influence by Tracing Gradient Descent

Garima Pruthi, Frederick Liu, Satyen Kale, Mukund Sundararajan

We introduce a method called TracIn that computes the influence of a training example on a prediction made by the model. The idea is to trace how the loss on the test point changes during the training process whenever the training example of interest was utilized. We provide a scalable implementation of TracIn via: (a) a first-order gradient approximation to the exact computation, (b) saved checkpoints of standard training procedures, and (c) cherry-picking layers of a deep neural network. In contrast with previously proposed methods, TracIn is simple to implement; all it needs is the ability to work with gradients, checkpoints, and loss functions. The method is general. It applies to any machine learning model trained using stochastic gradient descent or a variant of it, agnostic of architecture, domain and task. We expect the method to be widely useful within processes that study and improve training data.

2020-12-10T20:10:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T20:20:00-08:00

##### 12 - Spotlight: AdaBelief Optimizer: Adapting Stepsizes by the Belief in Observed Gradients

Juntang Zhuang, Tommy Tang, Yifan Ding, Sekhar C Tatikonda, Nicha Dvornek, Xenophon Papademetris, James Duncan

Most popular optimizers for deep learning can be broadly categorized as adaptive methods (e.g.~Adam) and accelerated schemes (e.g.~stochastic gradient descent (SGD) with momentum). For many models such as convolutional neural networks (CNNs), adaptive methods typically converge faster but generalize worse compared to SGD; for complex settings such as generative adversarial networks (GANs), adaptive methods are typically the default because of their stability. We propose AdaBelief to simultaneously achieve three goals: fast convergence as in adaptive methods, good generalization as in SGD, and training stability. The intuition for AdaBelief is to adapt the stepsize according to the "belief" in the current gradient direction. Viewing the exponential moving average (EMA) of the noisy gradient as the prediction of the gradient at the next time step, if the observed gradient greatly deviates from the prediction, we distrust the current observation and take a small step; if the observed gradient is close to the prediction, we trust it and take a large step. We validate AdaBelief in extensive experiments, showing that it outperforms other methods with fast convergence and high accuracy on image classification and language modeling. Specifically, on ImageNet, AdaBelief achieves comparable accuracy to SGD. Furthermore, in the training of a GAN on Cifar10, AdaBelief demonstrates high stability and improves the quality of generated samples compared to a well-tuned Adam optimizer.

2020-12-10T20:20:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T20:30:00-08:00

##### 13 - Spotlight: Part-dependent Label Noise: Towards Instance-dependent Label Noise

Xiaobo Xia, Tongliang Liu, Bo Han, Nannan Wang, Mingming Gong, Haifeng Liu, Gang Niu, Dacheng Tao, Masashi Sugiyama

Learning with the \textit{instance-dependent} label noise is challenging, because it is hard to model such real-world noise. Note that there are psychological and physiological evidences showing that we humans perceive instances by decomposing them into parts. Annotators are therefore more likely to annotate instances based on the parts rather than the whole instances, where a wrong mapping from parts to classes may cause the instance-dependent label noise. Motivated by this human cognition, in this paper, we approximate the instance-dependent label noise by exploiting \textit{part-dependent} label noise. Specifically, since instances can be approximately reconstructed by a combination of parts, we approximate the instance-dependent \textit{transition matrix} for an instance by a combination of the transition matrices for the parts of the instance. The transition matrices for parts can be learned by exploiting anchor points (i.e., data points that belong to a specific class almost surely). Empirical evaluations on synthetic and real-world datasets demonstrate our method is superior to the state-of-the-art approaches for learning from the instance-dependent label noise.

2020-12-10T20:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T20:40:00-08:00

##### Q&A: Joint Q&A for Preceeding Spotlights

2020-12-10T20:40:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T21:00:00-08:00