In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penalty-based methods using alternating optimization over the parameters and the auxiliary coordinates. MAC has provable convergence, is easy to implement reusing existing algorithms for single layers, can be parallelized trivially and massively, applies even when parameter derivatives are not available or not desirable, and is competitive with state-of-the-art nonlinear optimizers even in the serial computation setting, often providing reasonable models within a few iterations.
Poor (even random) starting points for learning/training/optimization are common in machine learning. In many settings, the method of Robbins and Monro (online stochastic gradient descent) is known to be optimal for good starting points, but may not be optimal for poor starting points -- indeed, for poor starting points Nesterov acceleration can help during the initial iterations, even though Nesterov methods not designed for stochastic approximation could hurt during later iterations. The common practice of training with nontrivial minibatches enhances the advantage of Nesterov acceleration.
Heuristic optimisers which search for an optimal configuration of variables relative to an objective function often get stuck in local optima where the algorithm is unable to find further improvement. The standard approach to circumvent this problem involves periodically restarting the algorithm from random initial configurations when no further improvement can be found. We propose a method of partial reinitialization, whereby, in an attempt to find a better solution, only sub-sets of variables are re-initialised rather than the whole configuration. Much of the information gained from previous runs is hence retained. This leads to significant improvements in the quality of the solution found in a given time for a variety of optimisation problems in machine learning.
We study nonconvex finite-sum problems and analyze stochastic variance reduced gradient (SVRG) methods for them. SVRG and related methods have recently surged into prominence for convex optimization given their edge over stochastic gradient descent (SGD); but their theoretical analysis almost exclusively assumes convexity. In contrast, we prove non-asymptotic rates of convergence (to stationary points) of SVRG for nonconvex optimization, and show that it is provably faster than SGD and gradient descent. We also analyze a subclass of nonconvex problems on which SVRG attains linear convergence to the global optimum. We extend our analysis to mini-batch variants of SVRG, showing (theoretical) linear speedup due to mini-batching in parallel settings.
Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are more powerful than Deep Neural Networks (DNN), as they are able to better reduce spectral variation in the input signal. This has also been confirmed experimentally, with CNNs showing improvements in word error rate (WER) between 4-12% relative compared to DNNs across a variety of LVCSR tasks. In this paper, we describe different methods to further improve CNN performance. First, we conduct a deep analysis comparing limited weight sharing and full weight sharing with state-of-the-art features. Second, we apply various pooling strategies that have shown improvements in computer vision to an LVCSR speech task. Third, we introduce a method to effectively incorporate speaker adaptation, namely fMLLR, into log-mel features. Fourth, we introduce an effective strategy to use dropout during Hessian-free sequence training. We find that with these improvements, particularly with fMLLR and dropout, we are able to achieve an additional 2-3% relative improvement in WER on a 50-hour Broadcast News task over our previous best CNN baseline. On a larger 400-hour BN task, we find an additional 4-5% relative improvement over our previous best CNN baseline.
Training deep networks is a time-consuming process, with networks for object recognition often requiring multiple days to train. For this reason, leveraging the resources of a cluster to speed up training is an important area of work. However, widely-popular batch-processing computational frameworks like MapReduce and Spark were not designed to support the asynchronous and communication-intensive workloads of existing distributed deep learning systems. We introduce SparkNet, a framework for training deep networks in Spark. Our implementation includes a convenient interface for reading data from Spark RDDs, a Scala interface to the Caffe deep learning framework, and a lightweight multi-dimensional tensor library. Using a simple parallelization scheme for stochastic gradient descent, SparkNet scales well with the cluster size and tolerates very high-latency communication. Furthermore, it is easy to deploy and use with no parameter tuning, and it is compatible with existing Caffe models. We quantify the dependence of the speedup obtained by SparkNet on the number of machines, the communication frequency, and the cluster's communication overhead, and we benchmark our system's performance on the ImageNet dataset.
Hessian-free training has become a popular parallel second or- der optimization technique for Deep Neural Network training. This study aims at speeding up Hessian-free training, both by means of decreasing the amount of data used for training, as well as through reduction of the number of Krylov subspace solver iterations used for implicit estimation of the Hessian. In this paper, we develop an L-BFGS based preconditioning scheme that avoids the need to access the Hessian explicitly. Since L-BFGS cannot be regarded as a fixed-point iteration, we further propose the employment of flexible Krylov subspace solvers that retain the desired theoretical convergence guarantees of their conventional counterparts. Second, we propose a new sampling algorithm, which geometrically increases the amount of data utilized for gradient and Krylov subspace iteration calculations. On a 50-hr English Broadcast News task, we find that these methodologies provide roughly a 1.5x speed-up, whereas, on a 300-hr Switchboard task, these techniques provide over a 2.3x speedup, with no loss in WER. These results suggest that even further speed-up is expected, as problems scale and complexity grows.
Unsupervised pretraining and dropout have been well studied, especially with respect to regularization and output consistency. However, our understanding about the explicit convergence rates of the parameter estimates, and their dependence on the learning (like denoising and dropout rate) and structural (like depth and layer lengths) aspects of the network is less mature. An interesting question in this context is to ask if the network structure could "guide" the choices of such learning parameters. In this work, we explore these gaps between network structure, the learning mechanisms and their interaction with parameter convergence rates. We present a way to address these issues based on the backpropagation convergence rates for general nonconvex objectives using first-order information. We then incorporate two learning mechanisms into this general framework -- denoising autoencoder and dropout, and subsequently derive the convergence rates of deep networks. Building upon these bounds, we provide insights into the choices of learning parameters and network sizes that achieve certain levels of convergence accuracy. The results derived here support existing empirical observations, and we also conduct a set of experiments to evaluate them.
Solving inverse problems with iterative algorithms such as stochastic gradient descent is a popular technique, especially for large data. In applications, due to time constraints, the number of iterations one may apply is usually limited, consequently limiting the accuracy achievable by certain methods. Given a reconstruction error one is willing to tolerate, an important question is whether it is possible to modify the original iterations to obtain a faster convergence to a minimizer with the allowed error. Relying on recent recovery techniques developed for settings in which the desired signal belongs to some low-dimensional set, we show that using a coarse estimate of this set leads to faster convergence to an error related to the accuracy of the set approximation. Our theory ties to recent advances in sparse recovery, compressed sensing and deep learning. In particular, it provides an explanation for the successful approximation of the ISTA solution by neural networks with layers representing iterations.
Many powerful machine learning models are based on the composition of multiple processing layers, such as deep nets, which gives rise to nonconvex objective functions. A general, recent approach to optimise such "nested" functions is the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). MAC introduces an auxiliary coordinate for each data point in order to decouple the nested model into independent submodels. This decomposes the optimisation into steps that alternate between training single layers and updating the coordinates. It has the advantage that it reuses existing single-layer algorithms, introduces parallelism, and does not need to use chain-rule gradients, so it works with nondifferentiable layers. With large-scale problems, or when distributing the computation is necessary for faster training, the dataset may not fit in a single machine. It is then essential to limit the amount of communication between machines so it does not obliterate the benefit of parallelism. We describe a general way to achieve this, ParMAC. ParMAC works on a cluster of processing machines with a circular topology and alternates two steps until convergence: one step trains the submodels in parallel using stochastic updates, and the other trains the coordinates in parallel. Only submodel parameters, no data or coordinates, are ever communicated between machines. ParMAC exhibits high parallelism, low communication overhead, and facilitates data shuffling, load balancing, fault tolerance and streaming data processing. We study the convergence of ParMAC and propose a theoretical model of its runtime and parallel speedup. We develop ParMAC to learn binary autoencoders for fast, approximate image retrieval. We implement it in MPI in a distributed system and demonstrate nearly perfect speedups in a 128-processor cluster with a training set of 100 million high-dimensional points.
We consider the fundamental problem in non-convex optimization of efficiently reaching a stationary point. In contrast to the convex case, in the long history of this basic problem, the only known theoretical results on first-order non-convex optimization remain to be full gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon)$ iterations for smooth objectives, and stochastic gradient descent that converges in $O(1/\varepsilon^2)$ iterations for objectives that are sum of smooth functions. We provide the first improvement in this line of research. Our result is based on the variance reduction trick recently introduced to convex optimization, as well as a brand new analysis of variance reduction that is suitable for non-convex optimization. For objectives that are sum of smooth functions, our first-order minibatch stochastic method converges with an $O(1/\varepsilon)$ rate, and is faster than full gradient descent by $\Omega(n^{1/3})$. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on empirical risk minimizations with non-convex loss functions and training neural nets.
We consider the ability of deep neural networks to represent data that lies near a low-dimensional manifold in a high-dimensional space. We show that deep networks can efficiently extract the intrinsic, low-dimensional coordinates of such data. We first show that the first two layers of a deep network can exactly embed points lying on a monotonic chain, a special type of piecewise linear manifold, mapping them to a low-dimensional Euclidean space. Remarkably, the network can do this using an almost optimal number of parameters. We also show that this network projects nearby points onto the manifold and then embeds them with little error. We then extend these results to more general manifolds.
We present a novel deep Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model for acoustic modelling in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). We term our contribution as a TC-DNN-BLSTM-DNN model, the model combines a Deep Neural Network (DNN) with Time Convolution (TC), followed by a Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM), and a final DNN. The first DNN acts as a feature processor to our model, the BLSTM then generates a context from the sequence acoustic signal, and the final DNN takes the context and models the posterior probabilities of the acoustic states. We achieve a 3.47 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task or more than 8% relative improvement over the baseline DNN models.
Training of large-scale deep neural networks is often constrained by the available computational resources. We study the effect of limited precision data representation and computation on neural network training. Within the context of low-precision fixed-point computations, we observe the rounding scheme to play a crucial role in determining the network's behavior during training. Our results show that deep networks can be trained using only 16-bit wide fixed-point number representation when using stochastic rounding, and incur little to no degradation in the classification accuracy. We also demonstrate an energy-efficient hardware accelerator that implements low-precision fixed-point arithmetic with stochastic rounding.
The fully connected layers of a deep convolutional neural network typically contain over 90% of the network parameters, and consume the majority of the memory required to store the network parameters. Reducing the number of parameters while preserving essentially the same predictive performance is critically important for operating deep neural networks in memory constrained environments such as GPUs or embedded devices. In this paper we show how kernel methods, in particular a single Fastfood layer, can be used to replace all fully connected layers in a deep convolutional neural network. This novel Fastfood layer is also end-to-end trainable in conjunction with convolutional layers, allowing us to combine them into a new architecture, named deep fried convolutional networks, which substantially reduces the memory footprint of convolutional networks trained on MNIST and ImageNet with no drop in predictive performance.
We discuss approximation of functions using deep neural nets. Given a function $f$ on a $d$-dimensional manifold $\Gamma \subset \mathbb{R}^m$, we construct a sparsely-connected depth-4 neural network and bound its error in approximating $f$. The size of the network depends on dimension and curvature of the manifold $\Gamma$, the complexity of $f$, in terms of its wavelet description, and only weakly on the ambient dimension $m$. Essentially, our network computes wavelet functions, which are computed from Rectified Linear Units (ReLU)
Deep convolutional neural networks comprise a subclass of deep neural networks (DNN) with a constrained architecture that leverages the spatial and temporal structure of the domain they model. Convolutional networks achieve the best predictive performance in areas such as speech and image recognition by hierarchically composing simple local features into complex models. Although DNNs have been used in drug discovery for QSAR and ligand-based bioactivity predictions, none of these models have benefited from this powerful convolutional architecture. This paper introduces AtomNet, the first structure-based, deep convolutional neural network designed to predict the bioactivity of small molecules for drug discovery applications. We demonstrate how to apply the convolutional concepts of feature locality and hierarchical composition to the modeling of bioactivity and chemical interactions. In further contrast to existing DNN techniques, we show that AtomNet's application of local convolutional filters to structural target information successfully predicts new active molecules for targets with no previously known modulators. Finally, we show that AtomNet outperforms previous docking approaches on a diverse set of benchmarks by a large margin, achieving an AUC greater than 0.9 on 57.8% of the targets in the DUDE benchmark.
We study the complexity of functions computable by deep feedforward neural networks with piecewise linear activations in terms of the symmetries and the number of linear regions that they have. Deep networks are able to sequentially map portions of each layer's input-space to the same output. In this way, deep models compute functions that react equally to complicated patterns of different inputs. The compositional structure of these functions enables them to re-use pieces of computation exponentially often in terms of the network's depth. This paper investigates the complexity of such compositional maps and contributes new theoretical results regarding the advantage of depth for neural networks with piecewise linear activation functions. In particular, our analysis is not specific to a single family of models, and as an example, we employ it for rectifier and maxout networks. We improve complexity bounds from pre-existing work and investigate the behavior of units in higher layers.
The generalization error of deep neural networks via their classification margin is studied in this work, providing novel generalization error bounds that are independent of the network depth, thereby avoiding the common exponential depth-dependency which is unrealistic for current networks with hundreds of layers. We show that a large margin linear classifier operating at the output of a deep neural network induces a large classification margin at the input of the network, provided that the network preserves distances in directions normal to the decision boundary. The distance preservation is characterized by the average behaviour of the network's Jacobian matrix in the neighbourhood of the training samples. The introduced theory also leads to a margin preservation regularization scheme that outperforms weight decay both theoretically and empirically.
Customer temporal behavioral data was represented as images in order to perform churn prediction by leveraging deep learning architectures prominent in image classification. Supervised learning was performed on labeled data of over 6 million customers using deep convolutional neural networks, which achieved an AUC of 0.743 on the test dataset using no more than 12 temporal features for each customer. Unsupervised learning was conducted using autoencoders to better understand the reasons for customer churn. Images that maximally activate the hidden units of an autoencoder trained with churned customers reveal ample opportunities for action to be taken to prevent churn among strong data, no voice users.
We revisit the choice of SGD for training deep neural networks by reconsidering the appropriate geometry in which to optimize the weights. We argue for a geometry invariant to rescaling of weights that does not affect the output of the network, and suggest Path-SGD, which is an approximate steepest descent method with respect to a path-wise regularizer related to max-norm regularization. Path-SGD is easy and efficient to implement and leads to empirical gains over SGD and AdaGrad.
This paper proposes a set of new error criteria and learning approaches, Adaptive Normalized Risk-Averting Training (ANRAT), to attack the non-convex optimization problem in training deep neural networks (DNNs). Theoretically, we demonstrate its effectiveness on global and local convexity lower-bounded by the standard $L_p$-norm error. By analyzing the gradient on the convexity index $\lambda$, we explain the reason why to learn $\lambda$ adaptively using gradient descent works. In practice, we show how this method improves training of deep neural networks to solve visual recognition tasks on the MNIST and CIFAR-10 datasets. Without using pretraining or other tricks, we obtain results comparable or superior to those reported in recent literature on the same tasks using standard ConvNets + MSE/cross entropy. Performance on deep/shallow multilayer perceptrons and Denoised Auto-encoders is also explored. ANRAT can be combined with other quasi-Newton training methods, innovative network variants, regularization techniques and other specific tricks in DNNs. Other than unsupervised pretraining, it provides a new perspective to address the non-convex optimization problem in DNNs.
We introduce a guide to help deep learning practitioners understand and manipulate convolutional neural network architectures. The guide clarifies the relationship between various properties (input shape, kernel shape, zero padding, strides and output shape) of convolutional, pooling and transposed convolutional layers, as well as the relationship between convolutional and transposed convolutional layers. Relationships are derived for various cases, and are illustrated in order to make them intuitive.
Model-based methods and deep neural networks have both been tremendously successful paradigms in machine learning. In model-based methods, problem domain knowledge can be built into the constraints of the model, typically at the expense of difficulties during inference. In contrast, deterministic deep neural networks are constructed in such a way that inference is straightforward, but their architectures are generic and it is unclear how to incorporate knowledge. This work aims to obtain the advantages of both approaches. To do so, we start with a model-based approach and an associated inference algorithm, and \emph{unfold} the inference iterations as layers in a deep network. Rather than optimizing the original model, we \emph{untie} the model parameters across layers, in order to create a more powerful network. The resulting architecture can be trained discriminatively to perform accurate inference within a fixed network size. We show how this framework allows us to interpret conventional networks as mean-field inference in Markov random fields, and to obtain new architectures by instead using belief propagation as the inference algorithm. We then show its application to a non-negative matrix factorization model that incorporates the problem-domain knowledge that sound sources are additive. Deep unfolding of this model yields a new kind of non-negative deep neural network, that can be trained using a multiplicative backpropagation-style update algorithm. We present speech enhancement experiments showing that our approach is competitive with conventional neural networks despite using far fewer parameters.
In this paper, we explore different ways to extend a recurrent neural network (RNN) to a \textit{deep} RNN. We start by arguing that the concept of depth in an RNN is not as clear as it is in feedforward neural networks. By carefully analyzing and understanding the architecture of an RNN, however, we find three points of an RNN which may be made deeper; (1) input-to-hidden function, (2) hidden-to-hidden transition and (3) hidden-to-output function. Based on this observation, we propose two novel architectures of a deep RNN which are orthogonal to an earlier attempt of stacking multiple recurrent layers to build a deep RNN (Schmidhuber, 1992; El Hihi and Bengio, 1996). We provide an alternative interpretation of these deep RNNs using a novel framework based on neural operators. The proposed deep RNNs are empirically evaluated on the tasks of polyphonic music prediction and language modeling. The experimental result supports our claim that the proposed deep RNNs benefit from the depth and outperform the conventional, shallow RNNs.
It has long been conjectured that hypotheses spaces suitable for data that is compositional in nature, such as text or images, may be more efficiently represented with deep hierarchical networks than with shallow ones. Despite the vast empirical evidence supporting this belief, theoretical justifications to date are limited. In particular, they do not account for the locality, sharing and pooling constructs of convolutional networks, the most successful deep learning architecture to date. In this work we derive a deep network architecture based on arithmetic circuits that inherently employs locality, sharing and pooling. An equivalence between the networks and hierarchical tensor factorizations is established. We show that a shallow network corresponds to CP (rank-1) decomposition, whereas a deep network corresponds to Hierarchical Tucker decomposition. Using tools from measure theory and matrix algebra, we prove that besides a negligible set, all functions that can be implemented by a deep network of polynomial size, require exponential size in order to be realized (or even approximated) by a shallow network. Since log-space computation transforms our networks into SimNets, the result applies directly to a deep learning architecture demonstrating promising empirical performance. The construction and theory developed in this paper shed new light on various practices and ideas employed by the deep learning community.
Pre-training is crucial for learning deep neural networks. Most of existing pre-training methods train simple models (e.g., restricted Boltzmann machines) and then stack them layer by layer to form the deep structure. This layer-wise pre-training has found strong theoretical foundation and broad empirical support. However, it is not easy to employ such method to pre-train models without a clear multi-layer structure,e.g., recurrent neural networks (RNNs). This paper presents a new pre-training approach based on knowledge transfer learning. In contrast to the layer-wise approach which trains model components incrementally, the new approach trains the entire model as a whole but with an easier objective function. This is achieved by utilizing soft targets produced by a prior trained model (teacher model). Compared to the conventional layer-wise methods, this new method does not care about the model structure, so can be used to pre-train very complex models. Experiments on a speech recognition task demonstrated that with this approach, complex RNNs can be well trained with a weaker deep neural network (DNN) model. Furthermore, the new method can be combined with conventional layer-wise pre-training to deliver additional gains.
The Resilient Propagation (Rprop) algorithm has been very popular for backpropagation training of multilayer feed-forward neural networks in various applications. The standard Rprop however encounters difficulties in the context of deep neural networks as typically happens with gradient-based learning algorithms. In this paper, we propose a modification of the Rprop that combines standard Rprop steps with a special drop out technique. We apply the method for training Deep Neural Networks as standalone components and in ensemble formulations. Results on the MNIST dataset show that the proposed modification alleviates standard Rprop's problems demonstrating improved learning speed and accuracy.
Real time application of deep learning algorithms is often hindered by high computational complexity and frequent memory accesses. Network pruning is a promising technique to solve this problem. However, pruning usually results in irregular network connections that not only demand extra representation efforts but also do not fit well on parallel computation. We introduce structured sparsity at various scales for convolutional neural networks, which are channel wise, kernel wise and intra kernel strided sparsity. This structured sparsity is very advantageous for direct computational resource savings on embedded computers, parallel computing environments and hardware based systems. To decide the importance of network connections and paths, the proposed method uses a particle filtering approach. The importance weight of each particle is assigned by computing the misclassification rate with corresponding connectivity pattern. The pruned network is re-trained to compensate for the losses due to pruning. While implementing convolutions as matrix products, we particularly show that intra kernel strided sparsity with a simple constraint can significantly reduce the size of kernel and feature map matrices. The pruned network is finally fixed point optimized with reduced word length precision. This results in significant reduction in the total storage size providing advantages for on-chip memory based implementations of deep neural networks.
We provide novel guaranteed approaches for training feedforward neural networks with sparse connectivity. We leverage on the techniques developed previously for learning linear networks and show that they can also be effectively adopted to learn non-linear networks. We operate on the moments involving label and the score function of the input, and show that their factorization provably yields the weight matrix of the first layer of a deep network under mild conditions. In practice, the output of our method can be employed as effective initializers for gradient descent.
A grand challenge in machine learning is the development of computational algorithms that match or outperform humans in perceptual inference tasks that are complicated by nuisance variation. For instance, visual object recognition involves the unknown object position, orientation, and scale in object recognition while speech recognition involves the unknown voice pronunciation, pitch, and speed. Recently, a new breed of deep learning algorithms have emerged for high-nuisance inference tasks that routinely yield pattern recognition systems with near- or super-human capabilities. But a fundamental question remains: Why do they work? Intuitions abound, but a coherent framework for understanding, analyzing, and synthesizing deep learning architectures has remained elusive. We answer this question by developing a new probabilistic framework for deep learning based on the Deep Rendering Model: a generative probabilistic model that explicitly captures latent nuisance variation. By relaxing the generative model to a discriminative one, we can recover two of the current leading deep learning systems, deep convolutional neural networks and random decision forests, providing insights into their successes and shortcomings, as well as a principled route to their improvement.
A network supporting deep unsupervised learning is presented. The network is an autoencoder with lateral shortcut connections from the encoder to decoder at each level of the hierarchy. The lateral shortcut connections allow the higher levels of the hierarchy to focus on abstract invariant features. While standard autoencoders are analogous to latent variable models with a single layer of stochastic variables, the proposed network is analogous to hierarchical latent variables models. Learning combines denoising autoencoder and denoising sources separation frameworks. Each layer of the network contributes to the cost function a term which measures the distance of the representations produced by the encoder and the decoder. Since training signals originate from all levels of the network, all layers can learn efficiently even in deep networks. The speedup offered by cost terms from higher levels of the hierarchy and the ability to learn invariant features are demonstrated in experiments.
Deep learning takes advantage of large datasets and computationally efficient training algorithms to outperform other approaches at various machine learning tasks. However, imperfections in the training phase of deep neural networks make them vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted by adversaries with the intent of causing deep neural networks to misclassify. In this work, we formalize the space of adversaries against deep neural networks (DNNs) and introduce a novel class of algorithms to craft adversarial samples based on a precise understanding of the mapping between inputs and outputs of DNNs. In an application to computer vision, we show that our algorithms can reliably produce samples correctly classified by human subjects but misclassified in specific targets by a DNN with a 97% adversarial success rate while only modifying on average 4.02% of the input features per sample. We then evaluate the vulnerability of different sample classes to adversarial perturbations by defining a hardness measure. Finally, we describe preliminary work outlining defenses against adversarial samples by defining a predictive measure of distance between a benign input and a target classification.
Deep learning has recently led to great successes in tasks such as image recognition (e.g Krizhevsky et al., 2012). However, deep networks are still outmatched by the power and versatility of the brain, perhaps in part due to the richer neuronal computations available to cortical circuits. The challenge is to identify which neuronal mechanisms are relevant, and to find suitable abstractions to model them. Here, we show how aspects of spike timing, long hypothesized to play a crucial role in cortical information processing, could be incorporated into deep networks to build richer, versatile representations. We introduce a neural network formulation based on complex-valued neuronal units that is not only biologically meaningful but also amenable to a variety of deep learning frameworks. Here, units are attributed both a firing rate and a phase, the latter indicating properties of spike timing. We show how this formulation qualitatively captures several aspects thought to be related to neuronal synchrony, including gating of information processing and dynamic binding of distributed object representations. Focusing on the latter, we demonstrate the potential of the approach in several simple experiments. Thus, neuronal synchrony could be a flexible mechanism that fulfills multiple functional roles in deep networks.
Many state-of-the-art results obtained with deep networks are achieved with the largest models that could be trained, and if more computation power was available, we might be able to exploit much larger datasets in order to improve generalization ability. Whereas in learning algorithms such as decision trees the ratio of capacity (e.g., the number of parameters) to computation is very favorable (up to exponentially more parameters than computation), the ratio is essentially 1 for deep neural networks. Conditional computation has been proposed as a way to increase the capacity of a deep neural network without increasing the amount of computation required, by activating some parameters and computation "on-demand", on a per-example basis. In this note, we propose a novel parametrization of weight matrices in neural networks which has the potential to increase up to exponentially the ratio of the number of parameters to computation. The proposed approach is based on turning on some parameters (weight matrices) when specific bit patterns of hidden unit activations are obtained. In order to better control for the overfitting that might result, we propose a parametrization that is tree-structured, where each node of the tree corresponds to a prefix of a sequence of sign bits, or gating units, associated with hidden units.
We seek to improve deep neural networks by generalizing the pooling operations that play a central role in current architectures. We pursue a careful exploration of approaches to allow pooling to learn and to adapt to complex and variable patterns. The two primary directions lie in (1) learning a pooling function via (two strategies of) combining of max and average pooling, and (2) learning a pooling function in the form of a tree-structured fusion of pooling filters that are themselves learned. In our experiments every generalized pooling operation we explore improves performance when used in place of average or max pooling. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed pooling operations provide a boost in invariance properties relative to conventional pooling and set the state of the art on several widely adopted benchmark datasets; they are also easy to implement, and can be applied within various deep neural network architectures. These benefits come with only a light increase in computational overhead during training and a very modest increase in the number of model parameters.
Methods from convex optimization are widely used as building blocks for deep learning algorithms. However, the reasons for their empirical success are unclear, since modern convolutional networks (convnets), incorporating rectifier units and max-pooling, are neither smooth nor convex. Standard guarantees therefore do not apply. This paper provides the first convergence rates for gradient descent on rectifier convnets. The proof utilizes the particular structure of rectifier networks which consists in binary active/inactive gates applied on top of an underlying linear network. The approach generalizes to max-pooling, dropout and maxout. In other words, to precisely the neural networks that perform best empirically. The key step is to introduce gated games, an extension of convex games with similar convergence properties that capture the gating function of rectifiers. The main result is that rectifier convnets converge to a critical point at a rate controlled by the gated-regret of the units in the network. Corollaries of the main result include: (i) a game-theoretic description of the representations learned by a neural network; (ii) a logarithmic-regret algorithm for training neural nets; and (iii) a formal setting for analyzing conditional computation in neural nets that can be applied to recently developed models of attention.
We introduce a simple and effective method for regularizing large convolutional neural networks. We replace the conventional deterministic pooling operations with a stochastic procedure, randomly picking the activation within each pooling region according to a multinomial distribution, given by the activities within the pooling region. The approach is hyper-parameter free and can be combined with other regularization approaches, such as dropout and data augmentation. We achieve state-of-the-art performance on four image datasets, relative to other approaches that do not utilize data augmentation.
Artificial neural networks typically have a fixed, non-linear activation function at each neuron. We have designed a novel form of piecewise linear activation function that is learned independently for each neuron using gradient descent. With this adaptive activation function, we are able to improve upon deep neural network architectures composed of static rectified linear units, achieving state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-10 (7.51%), CIFAR-100 (30.83%), and a benchmark from high-energy physics involving Higgs boson decay modes.
We have recently shown that deep Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks (RNNs) outperform feed forward deep neural networks (DNNs) as acoustic models for speech recognition. More recently, we have shown that the performance of sequence trained context dependent (CD) hidden Markov model (HMM) acoustic models using such LSTM RNNs can be equaled by sequence trained phone models initialized with connectionist temporal classification (CTC). In this paper, we present techniques that further improve performance of LSTM RNN acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We show that frame stacking and reduced frame rate lead to more accurate models and faster decoding. CD phone modeling leads to further improvements. We also present initial results for LSTM RNN models outputting words directly.
Three important properties of a classification machinery are: (i) the system preserves the core information of the input data; (ii) the training examples convey information about unseen data; and (iii) the system is able to treat differently points from different classes. In this work we show that these fundamental properties are satisfied by the architecture of deep neural networks. We formally prove that these networks with random Gaussian weights perform a distance-preserving embedding of the data, with a special treatment for in-class and out-of-class data. Similar points at the input of the network are likely to have a similar output. The theoretical analysis of deep networks here presented exploits tools used in the compressed sensing and dictionary learning literature, thereby making a formal connection between these important topics. The derived results allow drawing conclusions on the metric learning properties of the network and their relation to its structure, as well as providing bounds on the required size of the training set such that the training examples would represent faithfully the unseen data. The results are validated with state-of-the-art trained networks.
Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture that has been designed to address the vanishing and exploding gradient problems of conventional RNNs. Unlike feedforward neural networks, RNNs have cyclic connections making them powerful for modeling sequences. They have been successfully used for sequence labeling and sequence prediction tasks, such as handwriting recognition, language modeling, phonetic labeling of acoustic frames. However, in contrast to the deep neural networks, the use of RNNs in speech recognition has been limited to phone recognition in small scale tasks. In this paper, we present novel LSTM based RNN architectures which make more effective use of model parameters to train acoustic models for large vocabulary speech recognition. We train and compare LSTM, RNN and DNN models at various numbers of parameters and configurations. We show that LSTM models converge quickly and give state of the art speech recognition performance for relatively small sized models.
Regularization is essential when training large neural networks. As deep neural networks can be mathematically interpreted as universal function approximators, they are effective at memorizing sampling noise in the training data. This results in poor generalization to unseen data. Therefore, it is no surprise that a new regularization technique, Dropout, was partially responsible for the now-ubiquitous winning entry to ImageNet 2012 by the University of Toronto. Currently, Dropout (and related methods such as DropConnect) are the most effective means of regularizing large neural networks. These amount to efficiently visiting a large number of related models at training time, while aggregating them to a single predictor at test time. The proposed FaMe model aims to apply a similar strategy, yet learns a factorization of each weight matrix such that the factors are robust to noise.
We combine supervised learning with unsupervised learning in deep neural networks. The proposed model is trained to simultaneously minimize the sum of supervised and unsupervised cost functions by backpropagation, avoiding the need for layer-wise pre-training. Our work builds on the Ladder network proposed by Valpola (2015), which we extend by combining the model with supervision. We show that the resulting model reaches state-of-the-art performance in semi-supervised MNIST and CIFAR-10 classification, in addition to permutation-invariant MNIST classification with all labels.
We formalize the notion of a pseudo-ensemble, a (possibly infinite) collection of child models spawned from a parent model by perturbing it according to some noise process. E.g., dropout (Hinton et. al, 2012) in a deep neural network trains a pseudo-ensemble of child subnetworks generated by randomly masking nodes in the parent network. We present a novel regularizer based on making the behavior of a pseudo-ensemble robust with respect to the noise process generating it. In the fully-supervised setting, our regularizer matches the performance of dropout. But, unlike dropout, our regularizer naturally extends to the semi-supervised setting, where it produces state-of-the-art results. We provide a case study in which we transform the Recursive Neural Tensor Network of (Socher et. al, 2013) into a pseudo-ensemble, which significantly improves its performance on a real-world sentiment analysis benchmark.
Restricted Boltzmann machines are undirected neural networks which have been shown to be effective in many applications, including serving as initializations for training deep multi-layer neural networks. One of the main reasons for their success is the existence of efficient and practical stochastic algorithms, such as contrastive divergence, for unsupervised training. We propose an alternative deterministic iterative procedure based on an improved mean field method from statistical physics known as the Thouless-Anderson-Palmer approach. We demonstrate that our algorithm provides performance equal to, and sometimes superior to, persistent contrastive divergence, while also providing a clear and easy to evaluate objective function. We believe that this strategy can be easily generalized to other models as well as to more accurate higher-order approximations, paving the way for systematic improvements in training Boltzmann machines with hidden units.
Top-down information plays a central role in human perception, but plays relatively little role in many current state-of-the-art deep networks, such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). This work seeks to explore a path by which top-down information can have a direct impact within current deep networks. We explore this path by learning and using "generators" corresponding to the network internal effects of three types of transformation (each a restriction of a general affine transformation): rotation, scaling, and translation. We demonstrate how these learned generators can be used to transfer top-down information to novel settings, as mediated by the "feature flows" that the transformations (and the associated generators) correspond to inside the network. Specifically, we explore three aspects: 1) using generators as part of a method for synthesizing transformed images --- given a previously unseen image, produce versions of that image corresponding to one or more specified transformations, 2) "zero-shot learning" --- when provided with a feature flow corresponding to the effect of a transformation of unknown amount, leverage learned generators as part of a method by which to perform an accurate categorization of the amount of transformation, even for amounts never observed during training, and 3) (inside-CNN) "data augmentation" --- improve the classification performance of an existing network by using the learned generators to directly provide additional training "inside the CNN".
Several popular graph embedding techniques for representation learning and dimensionality reduction rely on performing computationally expensive eigendecompositions to derive a nonlinear transformation of the input data space. The resulting eigenvectors encode the embedding coordinates for the training samples only, and so the embedding of novel data samples requires further costly computation. In this paper, we present a method for the out-of-sample extension of graph embeddings using deep neural networks (DNN) to parametrically approximate these nonlinear maps. Compared with traditional nonparametric out-of-sample extension methods, we demonstrate that the DNNs can generalize with equal or better fidelity and require orders of magnitude less computation at test time. Moreover, we find that unsupervised pretraining of the DNNs improves optimization for larger network sizes, thus removing sensitivity to model selection.
Motivated by an important insight from neural science, we propose a new framework for understanding the success of the recently proposed "maxout" networks. The framework is based on encoding information on sparse pathways and recognizing the correct pathway at inference time. Elaborating further on this insight, we propose a novel deep network architecture, called "channel-out" network, which takes a much better advantage of sparse pathway encoding. In channel-out networks, pathways are not only formed a posteriori, but they are also actively selected according to the inference outputs from the lower layers. From a mathematical perspective, channel-out networks can represent a wider class of piece-wise continuous functions, thereby endowing the network with more expressive power than that of maxout networks. We test our channel-out networks on several well-known image classification benchmarks, setting new state-of-the-art performance on CIFAR-100 and STL-10, which represent some of the "harder" image classification benchmarks.
In a physical neural system, where storage and processing are intimately intertwined, the rules for adjusting the synaptic weights can only depend on variables that are available locally, such as the activity of the pre- and post-synaptic neurons, resulting in local learning rules. A systematic framework for studying the space of local learning rules must first define the nature of the local variables, and then the functional form that ties them together into each learning rule. We consider polynomial local learning rules and analyze their behavior and capabilities in both linear and non-linear networks. As a byproduct, this framework enables also the discovery of new learning rules as well as important relationships between learning rules and group symmetries. Stacking local learning rules in deep feedforward networks leads to deep local learning. While deep local learning can learn interesting representations, it cannot learn complex input-output functions, even when targets are available for the top layer. Learning complex input-output functions requires local deep learning where target information is propagated to the deep layers through a backward channel. The nature of the propagated information about the targets, and the backward channel through which this information is propagated, partition the space of learning algorithms. For any learning algorithm, the capacity of the backward channel can be defined as the number of bits provided about the gradient per weight, divided by the number of required operations per weight. We estimate the capacity associated with several learning algorithms and show that backpropagation outperforms them and achieves the maximum possible capacity. The theory clarifies the concept of Hebbian learning, what is learnable by Hebbian learning, and explains the sparsity of the space of learning rules discovered so far.
Deep learning is currently the subject of intensive study. However, fundamental concepts such as representations are not formally defined -- researchers "know them when they see them" -- and there is no common language for describing and analyzing algorithms. This essay proposes an abstract framework that identifies the essential features of current practice and may provide a foundation for future developments. The backbone of almost all deep learning algorithms is backpropagation, which is simply a gradient computation distributed over a neural network. The main ingredients of the framework are thus, unsurprisingly: (i) game theory, to formalize distributed optimization; and (ii) communication protocols, to track the flow of zeroth and first-order information. The framework allows natural definitions of semantics (as the meaning encoded in functions), representations (as functions whose semantics is chosen to optimized a criterion) and grammars (as communication protocols equipped with first-order convergence guarantees). Much of the essay is spent discussing examples taken from the literature. The ultimate aim is to develop a graphical language for describing the structure of deep learning algorithms that backgrounds the details of the optimization procedure and foregrounds how the components interact. Inspiration is taken from probabilistic graphical models and factor graphs, which capture the essential structural features of multivariate distributions.
Deep learning algorithms have been shown to perform extremely well on many classical machine learning problems. However, recent studies have shown that deep learning, like other machine learning techniques, is vulnerable to adversarial samples: inputs crafted to force a deep neural network (DNN) to provide adversary-selected outputs. Such attacks can seriously undermine the security of the system supported by the DNN, sometimes with devastating consequences. For example, autonomous vehicles can be crashed, illicit or illegal content can bypass content filters, or biometric authentication systems can be manipulated to allow improper access. In this work, we introduce a defensive mechanism called defensive distillation to reduce the effectiveness of adversarial samples on DNNs. We analytically investigate the generalizability and robustness properties granted by the use of defensive distillation when training DNNs. We also empirically study the effectiveness of our defense mechanisms on two DNNs placed in adversarial settings. The study shows that defensive distillation can reduce effectiveness of sample creation from 95% to less than 0.5% on a studied DNN. Such dramatic gains can be explained by the fact that distillation leads gradients used in adversarial sample creation to be reduced by a factor of 10^30. We also find that distillation increases the average minimum number of features that need to be modified to create adversarial samples by about 800% on one of the DNNs we tested.
We present a probabilistic variant of the recently introduced maxout unit. The success of deep neural networks utilizing maxout can partly be attributed to favorable performance under dropout, when compared to rectified linear units. It however also depends on the fact that each maxout unit performs a pooling operation over a group of linear transformations and is thus partially invariant to changes in its input. Starting from this observation we ask the question: Can the desirable properties of maxout units be preserved while improving their invariance properties ? We argue that our probabilistic maxout (probout) units successfully achieve this balance. We quantitatively verify this claim and report classification performance matching or exceeding the current state of the art on three challenging image classification benchmarks (CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100 and SVHN).
This paper presents Rudra, a parameter server based distributed computing framework tuned for training large-scale deep neural networks. Using variants of the asynchronous stochastic gradient descent algorithm we study the impact of synchronization protocol, stale gradient updates, minibatch size, learning rates, and number of learners on runtime performance and model accuracy. We introduce a new learning rate modulation strategy to counter the effect of stale gradients and propose a new synchronization protocol that can effectively bound the staleness in gradients, improve runtime performance and achieve good model accuracy. Our empirical investigation reveals a principled approach for distributed training of neural networks: the mini-batch size per learner should be reduced as more learners are added to the system to preserve the model accuracy. We validate this approach using commonly-used image classification benchmarks: CIFAR10 and ImageNet.
The backpropagation algorithm for calculating gradients has been widely used in computation of weights for deep neural networks (DNNs). This method requires derivatives of objective functions and has some difficulties finding appropriate parameters such as learning rate. In this paper, we propose a novel approach for computing weight matrices of fully-connected DNNs by using two types of semi-nonnegative matrix factorizations (semi-NMFs). In this method, optimization processes are performed by calculating weight matrices alternately, and backpropagation (BP) is not used. We also present a method to calculate stacked autoencoder using a NMF. The output results of the autoencoder are used as pre-training data for DNNs. The experimental results show that our method using three types of NMFs attains similar error rates to the conventional DNNs with BP.
Multidimensional recurrent neural networks (MDRNNs) have shown a remarkable performance in the area of speech and handwriting recognition. The performance of an MDRNN is improved by further increasing its depth, and the difficulty of learning the deeper network is overcome by using Hessian-free (HF) optimization. Given that connectionist temporal classification (CTC) is utilized as an objective of learning an MDRNN for sequence labeling, the non-convexity of CTC poses a problem when applying HF to the network. As a solution, a convex approximation of CTC is formulated and its relationship with the EM algorithm and the Fisher information matrix is discussed. An MDRNN up to a depth of 15 layers is successfully trained using HF, resulting in an improved performance for sequence labeling.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called pre-training: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
Why does Deep Learning work? What representations does it capture? How do higher-order representations emerge? We study these questions from the perspective of group theory, thereby opening a new approach towards a theory of Deep learning. One factor behind the recent resurgence of the subject is a key algorithmic step called {\em pretraining}: first search for a good generative model for the input samples, and repeat the process one layer at a time. We show deeper implications of this simple principle, by establishing a connection with the interplay of orbits and stabilizers of group actions. Although the neural networks themselves may not form groups, we show the existence of {\em shadow} groups whose elements serve as close approximations. Over the shadow groups, the pre-training step, originally introduced as a mechanism to better initialize a network, becomes equivalent to a search for features with minimal orbits. Intuitively, these features are in a way the {\em simplest}. Which explains why a deep learning network learns simple features first. Next, we show how the same principle, when repeated in the deeper layers, can capture higher order representations, and why representation complexity increases as the layers get deeper.
In this paper we propose and investigate a novel nonlinear unit, called $L_p$ unit, for deep neural networks. The proposed $L_p$ unit receives signals from several projections of a subset of units in the layer below and computes a normalized $L_p$ norm. We notice two interesting interpretations of the $L_p$ unit. First, the proposed unit can be understood as a generalization of a number of conventional pooling operators such as average, root-mean-square and max pooling widely used in, for instance, convolutional neural networks (CNN), HMAX models and neocognitrons. Furthermore, the $L_p$ unit is, to a certain degree, similar to the recently proposed maxout unit (Goodfellow et al., 2013) which achieved the state-of-the-art object recognition results on a number of benchmark datasets. Secondly, we provide a geometrical interpretation of the activation function based on which we argue that the $L_p$ unit is more efficient at representing complex, nonlinear separating boundaries. Each $L_p$ unit defines a superelliptic boundary, with its exact shape defined by the order $p$. We claim that this makes it possible to model arbitrarily shaped, curved boundaries more efficiently by combining a few $L_p$ units of different orders. This insight justifies the need for learning different orders for each unit in the model. We empirically evaluate the proposed $L_p$ units on a number of datasets and show that multilayer perceptrons (MLP) consisting of the $L_p$ units achieve the state-of-the-art results on a number of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, we evaluate the proposed $L_p$ unit on the recently proposed deep recurrent neural networks (RNN).
Deep learning methods have shown great promise in many practical applications, ranging from speech recognition, visual object recognition, to text processing. However, most of the current deep learning methods suffer from scalability problems for large-scale applications, forcing researchers or users to focus on small-scale problems with fewer parameters. In this paper, we consider a well-known machine learning model, deep belief networks (DBNs) that have yielded impressive classification performance on a large number of benchmark machine learning tasks. To scale up DBN, we propose an approach that can use the computing clusters in a distributed environment to train large models, while the dense matrix computations within a single machine are sped up using graphics processors (GPU). When training a DBN, each machine randomly drops out a portion of neurons in each hidden layer, for each training case, making the remaining neurons only learn to detect features that are generally helpful for producing the correct answer. Within our approach, we have developed four methods to combine outcomes from each machine to form a unified model. Our preliminary experiment on the mnst handwritten digit database demonstrates that our approach outperforms the state of the art test error rate.
Deep neural networks (DNNs) are now a central component of nearly all state-of-the-art speech recognition systems. Building neural network acoustic models requires several design decisions including network architecture, size, and training loss function. This paper offers an empirical investigation on which aspects of DNN acoustic model design are most important for speech recognition system performance. We report DNN classifier performance and final speech recognizer word error rates, and compare DNNs using several metrics to quantify factors influencing differences in task performance. Our first set of experiments use the standard Switchboard benchmark corpus, which contains approximately 300 hours of conversational telephone speech. We compare standard DNNs to convolutional networks, and present the first experiments using locally-connected, untied neural networks for acoustic modeling. We additionally build systems on a corpus of 2,100 hours of training data by combining the Switchboard and Fisher corpora. This larger corpus allows us to more thoroughly examine performance of large DNN models -- with up to ten times more parameters than those typically used in speech recognition systems. Our results suggest that a relatively simple DNN architecture and optimization technique produces strong results. These findings, along with previous work, help establish a set of best practices for building DNN hybrid speech recognition systems with maximum likelihood training. Our experiments in DNN optimization additionally serve as a case study for training DNNs with discriminative loss functions for speech tasks, as well as DNN classifiers more generally.
We demonstrate that there is significant redundancy in the parameterization of several deep learning models. Given only a few weight values for each feature it is possible to accurately predict the remaining values. Moreover, we show that not only can the parameter values be predicted, but many of them need not be learned at all. We train several different architectures by learning only a small number of weights and predicting the rest. In the best case we are able to predict more than 95% of the weights of a network without any drop in accuracy.
There has been a lot of recent interest in designing neural network models to estimate a distribution from a set of examples. We introduce a simple modification for autoencoder neural networks that yields powerful generative models. Our method masks the autoencoder's parameters to respect autoregressive constraints: each input is reconstructed only from previous inputs in a given ordering. Constrained this way, the autoencoder outputs can be interpreted as a set of conditional probabilities, and their product, the full joint probability. We can also train a single network that can decompose the joint probability in multiple different orderings. Our simple framework can be applied to multiple architectures, including deep ones. Vectorized implementations, such as on GPUs, are simple and fast. Experiments demonstrate that this approach is competitive with state-of-the-art tractable distribution estimators. At test time, the method is significantly faster and scales better than other autoregressive estimators.
We introduce two Python frameworks to train neural networks on large datasets: Blocks and Fuel. Blocks is based on Theano, a linear algebra compiler with CUDA-support. It facilitates the training of complex neural network models by providing parametrized Theano operations, attaching metadata to Theano's symbolic computational graph, and providing an extensive set of utilities to assist training the networks, e.g. training algorithms, logging, monitoring, visualization, and serialization. Fuel provides a standard format for machine learning datasets. It allows the user to easily iterate over large datasets, performing many types of pre-processing on the fly.
One of the difficulties of training deep neural networks is caused by improper scaling between layers. Scaling issues introduce exploding / gradient problems, and have typically been addressed by careful scale-preserving initialization. We investigate the value of preserving scale, or isometry, beyond the initial weights. We propose two methods of maintaing isometry, one exact and one stochastic. Preliminary experiments show that for both determinant and scale-normalization effectively speeds up learning. Results suggest that isometry is important in the beginning of learning, and maintaining it leads to faster learning.
Recurrent neural networks (RNNs), particularly long short-term memory (LSTM), have gained much attention in automatic speech recognition (ASR). Although some successful stories have been reported, training RNNs remains highly challenging, especially with limited training data. Recent research found that a well-trained model can be used as a teacher to train other child models, by using the predictions generated by the teacher model as supervision. This knowledge transfer learning has been employed to train simple neural nets with a complex one, so that the final performance can reach a level that is infeasible to obtain by regular training. In this paper, we employ the knowledge transfer learning approach to train RNNs (precisely LSTM) using a deep neural network (DNN) model as the teacher. This is different from most of the existing research on knowledge transfer learning, since the teacher (DNN) is assumed to be weaker than the child (RNN); however, our experiments on an ASR task showed that it works fairly well: without applying any tricks on the learning scheme, this approach can train RNNs successfully even with limited training data.
Training very deep networks is an important open problem in machine learning. One of many difficulties is that the norm of the back-propagated error gradient can grow or decay exponentially. Here we show that training very deep feed-forward networks (FFNs) is not as difficult as previously thought. Unlike when back-propagation is applied to a recurrent network, application to an FFN amounts to multiplying the error gradient by a different random matrix at each layer. We show that the successive application of correctly scaled random matrices to an initial vector results in a random walk of the log of the norm of the resulting vectors, and we compute the scaling that makes this walk unbiased. The variance of the random walk grows only linearly with network depth and is inversely proportional to the size of each layer. Practically, this implies a gradient whose log-norm scales with the square root of the network depth and shows that the vanishing gradient problem can be mitigated by increasing the width of the layers. Mathematical analyses and experimental results using stochastic gradient descent to optimize tasks related to the MNIST and TIMIT datasets are provided to support these claims. Equations for the optimal matrix scaling are provided for the linear and ReLU cases.
Hessian-free (HF) optimization has been successfully used for training deep autoencoders and recurrent networks. HF uses the conjugate gradient algorithm to construct update directions through curvature-vector products that can be computed on the same order of time as gradients. In this paper we exploit this property and study stochastic HF with gradient and curvature mini-batches independent of the dataset size. We modify Martens' HF for these settings and integrate dropout, a method for preventing co-adaptation of feature detectors, to guard against overfitting. Stochastic Hessian-free optimization gives an intermediary between SGD and HF that achieves competitive performance on both classification and deep autoencoder experiments.
Current deep learning architectures are growing larger in order to learn from enormous datasets.These architectures require giant matrix multiplication operations to train millions or billions of parameters during forward and back propagation steps. These operations are very expensive from a computational and energy standpoint. We present a novel technique to reduce the amount of computation needed to train and test deep net-works drastically. Our approach combines recent ideas from adaptive dropouts and randomized hashing for maximum inner product search to select only the nodes with the highest activation efficiently. Our new algorithm for training deep networks reduces the overall computational cost,of both feed-forward pass and backpropagation,by operating on significantly fewer nodes. As a consequence, our algorithm only requires 5% of computations (multiplications) compared to traditional algorithms, without any loss in the accuracy. Furthermore, due to very sparse gradient updates, our algorithm is ideally suited for asynchronous training leading to near linear speedup with increasing parallelism. We demonstrate the scalability and sustainability (energy efficiency) of our proposed algorithm via rigorous experimental evaluations.
We replace the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) which is traditionally used in in continuous speech recognition with a bi-directional recurrent neural network encoder coupled to a recurrent neural network decoder that directly emits a stream of phonemes. The alignment between the input and output sequences is established using an attention mechanism: the decoder emits each symbol based on a context created with a subset of input symbols elected by the attention mechanism. We report initial results demonstrating that this new approach achieves phoneme error rates that are comparable to the state-of-the-art HMM-based decoders, on the TIMIT dataset.
In this work, we propose a novel recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture. The proposed RNN, gated-feedback RNN (GF-RNN), extends the existing approach of stacking multiple recurrent layers by allowing and controlling signals flowing from upper recurrent layers to lower layers using a global gating unit for each pair of layers. The recurrent signals exchanged between layers are gated adaptively based on the previous hidden states and the current input. We evaluated the proposed GF-RNN with different types of recurrent units, such as tanh, long short-term memory and gated recurrent units, on the tasks of character-level language modeling and Python program evaluation. Our empirical evaluation of different RNN units, revealed that in both tasks, the GF-RNN outperforms the conventional approaches to build deep stacked RNNs. We suggest that the improvement arises because the GF-RNN can adaptively assign different layers to different timescales and layer-to-layer interactions (including the top-down ones which are not usually present in a stacked RNN) by learning to gate these interactions.
Deep Neural Network (DNN) acoustic models have yielded many state-of-the-art results in Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) tasks. More recently, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) models have been shown to outperform DNNs counterparts. However, state-of-the-art DNN and RNN models tend to be impractical to deploy on embedded systems with limited computational capacity. Traditionally, the approach for embedded platforms is to either train a small DNN directly, or to train a small DNN that learns the output distribution of a large DNN. In this paper, we utilize a state-of-the-art RNN to transfer knowledge to small DNN. We use the RNN model to generate soft alignments and minimize the Kullback-Leibler divergence against the small DNN. The small DNN trained on the soft RNN alignments achieved a 3.93 WER on the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) eval92 task compared to a baseline 4.54 WER or more than 13% relative improvement.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) have long been recognized for their potential to model complex time series. However, it remains to be determined what optimization techniques and recurrent architectures can be used to best realize this potential. The experiments presented take a deep look into Hessian free optimization, a powerful second order optimization method that has shown promising results, but still does not enjoy widespread use. This algorithm was used to train to a number of RNN architectures including standard RNNs, long short-term memory, multiplicative RNNs, and stacked RNNs on the task of character prediction. The insights from these experiments led to the creation of a new multiplicative LSTM hybrid architecture that outperformed both LSTM and multiplicative RNNs. When tested on a larger scale, multiplicative LSTM achieved character level modelling results competitive with the state of the art for RNNs using very different methodology.
In recent years, deep neural networks (DNN) have demonstrated significant business impact in large scale analysis and classification tasks such as speech recognition, visual object detection, pattern extraction, etc. Training of large DNNs, however, is universally considered as time consuming and computationally intensive task that demands datacenter-scale computational resources recruited for many days. Here we propose a concept of resistive processing unit (RPU) devices that can potentially accelerate DNN training by orders of magnitude while using much less power. The proposed RPU device can store and update the weight values locally thus minimizing data movement during training and allowing to fully exploit the locality and the parallelism of the training algorithm. We identify the RPU device and system specifications for implementation of an accelerator chip for DNN training in a realistic CMOS-compatible technology. For large DNNs with about 1 billion weights this massively parallel RPU architecture can achieve acceleration factors of 30,000X compared to state-of-the-art microprocessors while providing power efficiency of 84,000 GigaOps/s/W. Problems that currently require days of training on a datacenter-size cluster with thousands of machines can be addressed within hours on a single RPU accelerator. A system consisted of a cluster of RPU accelerators will be able to tackle Big Data problems with trillions of parameters that is impossible to address today like, for example, natural speech recognition and translation between all world languages, real-time analytics on large streams of business and scientific data, integration and analysis of multimodal sensory data flows from massive number of IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.
Recently, multilayer bootstrap network (MBN) has demonstrated promising performance in unsupervised dimensionality reduction. It can learn compact representations in standard data sets, i.e. MNIST and RCV1. However, as a bootstrap method, the prediction complexity of MBN is high. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised model compression framework for this general problem of unsupervised bootstrap methods. The framework compresses a large unsupervised bootstrap model into a small model by taking the bootstrap model and its application together as a black box and learning a mapping function from the input of the bootstrap model to the output of the application by a supervised learner. To specialize the framework, we propose a new technique, named compressive MBN. It takes MBN as the unsupervised bootstrap model and deep neural network (DNN) as the supervised learner. Our initial result on MNIST showed that compressive MBN not only maintains the high prediction accuracy of MBN but also is over thousands of times faster than MBN at the prediction stage. Our result suggests that the new technique integrates the effectiveness of MBN on unsupervised learning and the effectiveness and efficiency of DNN on supervised learning together for the effectiveness and efficiency of compressive MBN on unsupervised learning.
This paper proposes GProp, a deep reinforcement learning algorithm for continuous policies with compatible function approximation. The algorithm is based on two innovations. Firstly, we present a temporal-difference based method for learning the gradient of the value-function. Secondly, we present the deviator-actor-critic (DAC) model, which comprises three neural networks that estimate the value function, its gradient, and determine the actor's policy respectively. We evaluate GProp on two challenging tasks: a contextual bandit problem constructed from nonparametric regression datasets that is designed to probe the ability of reinforcement learning algorithms to accurately estimate gradients; and the octopus arm, a challenging reinforcement learning benchmark. GProp is competitive with fully supervised methods on the bandit task and achieves the best performance to date on the octopus arm.
We address the problem of acoustic source separation in a deep learning framework we call "deep clustering." Rather than directly estimating signals or masking functions, we train a deep network to produce spectrogram embeddings that are discriminative for partition labels given in training data. Previous deep network approaches provide great advantages in terms of learning power and speed, but previously it has been unclear how to use them to separate signals in a class-independent way. In contrast, spectral clustering approaches are flexible with respect to the classes and number of items to be segmented, but it has been unclear how to leverage the learning power and speed of deep networks. To obtain the best of both worlds, we use an objective function that to train embeddings that yield a low-rank approximation to an ideal pairwise affinity matrix, in a class-independent way. This avoids the high cost of spectral factorization and instead produces compact clusters that are amenable to simple clustering methods. The segmentations are therefore implicitly encoded in the embeddings, and can be "decoded" by clustering. Preliminary experiments show that the proposed method can separate speech: when trained on spectrogram features containing mixtures of two speakers, and tested on mixtures of a held-out set of speakers, it can infer masking functions that improve signal quality by around 6dB. We show that the model can generalize to three-speaker mixtures despite training only on two-speaker mixtures. The framework can be used without class labels, and therefore has the potential to be trained on a diverse set of sound types, and to generalize to novel sources. We hope that future work will lead to segmentation of arbitrary sounds, with extensions to microphone array methods as well as image segmentation and other domains.
A very simple way to improve the performance of almost any machine learning algorithm is to train many different models on the same data and then to average their predictions. Unfortunately, making predictions using a whole ensemble of models is cumbersome and may be too computationally expensive to allow deployment to a large number of users, especially if the individual models are large neural nets. Caruana and his collaborators have shown that it is possible to compress the knowledge in an ensemble into a single model which is much easier to deploy and we develop this approach further using a different compression technique. We achieve some surprising results on MNIST and we show that we can significantly improve the acoustic model of a heavily used commercial system by distilling the knowledge in an ensemble of models into a single model. We also introduce a new type of ensemble composed of one or more full models and many specialist models which learn to distinguish fine-grained classes that the full models confuse. Unlike a mixture of experts, these specialist models can be trained rapidly and in parallel.
Deep Belief Networks (DBN) have been successfully applied on popular machine learning tasks. Specifically, when applied on hand-written digit recognition, DBNs have achieved approximate accuracy rates of 98.8%. In an effort to optimize the data representation achieved by the DBN and maximize their descriptive power, recent advances have focused on inducing sparse constraints at each layer of the DBN. In this paper we present a theoretical approach for sparse constraints in the DBN using the mixed norm for both non-overlapping and overlapping groups. We explore how these constraints affect the classification accuracy for digit recognition in three different datasets (MNIST, USPS, RIMES) and provide initial estimations of their usefulness by altering different parameters such as the group size and overlap percentage.
Our proposed deeply-supervised nets (DSN) method simultaneously minimizes classification error while making the learning process of hidden layers direct and transparent. We make an attempt to boost the classification performance by studying a new formulation in deep networks. Three aspects in convolutional neural networks (CNN) style architectures are being looked at: (1) transparency of the intermediate layers to the overall classification; (2) discriminativeness and robustness of learned features, especially in the early layers; (3) effectiveness in training due to the presence of the exploding and vanishing gradients. We introduce "companion objective" to the individual hidden layers, in addition to the overall objective at the output layer (a different strategy to layer-wise pre-training). We extend techniques from stochastic gradient methods to analyze our algorithm. The advantage of our method is evident and our experimental result on benchmark datasets shows significant performance gain over existing methods (e.g. all state-of-the-art results on MNIST, CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and SVHN).
Residual networks (ResNets) have recently achieved state-of-the-art on challenging computer vision tasks. We introduce Resnet in Resnet (RiR): a deep dual-stream architecture that generalizes ResNets and standard CNNs and is easily implemented with no computational overhead. RiR consistently improves performance over ResNets, outperforms architectures with similar amounts of augmentation on CIFAR-10, and establishes a new state-of-the-art on CIFAR-100.
We propose rectified factor networks (RFNs) to efficiently construct very sparse, non-linear, high-dimensional representations of the input. RFN models identify rare and small events in the input, have a low interference between code units, have a small reconstruction error, and explain the data covariance structure. RFN learning is a generalized alternating minimization algorithm derived from the posterior regularization method which enforces non-negative and normalized posterior means. We proof convergence and correctness of the RFN learning algorithm. On benchmarks, RFNs are compared to other unsupervised methods like autoencoders, RBMs, factor analysis, ICA, and PCA. In contrast to previous sparse coding methods, RFNs yield sparser codes, capture the data's covariance structure more precisely, and have a significantly smaller reconstruction error. We test RFNs as pretraining technique for deep networks on different vision datasets, where RFNs were superior to RBMs and autoencoders. On gene expression data from two pharmaceutical drug discovery studies, RFNs detected small and rare gene modules that revealed highly relevant new biological insights which were so far missed by other unsupervised methods.
Although artificial neural networks have occasionally been used for Quantitative Structure-Activity/Property Relationship (QSAR/QSPR) studies in the past, the literature has of late been dominated by other machine learning techniques such as random forests. However, a variety of new neural net techniques along with successful applications in other domains have renewed interest in network approaches. In this work, inspired by the winning team's use of neural networks in a recent QSAR competition, we used an artificial neural network to learn a function that predicts activities of compounds for multiple assays at the same time. We conducted experiments leveraging recent methods for dealing with overfitting in neural networks as well as other tricks from the neural networks literature. We compared our methods to alternative methods reported to perform well on these tasks and found that our neural net methods provided superior performance.
Stochastic gradient algorithms have been the main focus of large-scale learning problems and they led to important successes in machine learning. The convergence of SGD depends on the careful choice of learning rate and the amount of the noise in stochastic estimates of the gradients. In this paper, we propose a new adaptive learning rate algorithm, which utilizes curvature information for automatically tuning the learning rates. The information about the element-wise curvature of the loss function is estimated from the local statistics of the stochastic first order gradients. We further propose a new variance reduction technique to speed up the convergence. In our preliminary experiments with deep neural networks, we obtained better performance compared to the popular stochastic gradient algorithms.
Inspired by recent successes of deep learning in computer vision, we propose a novel framework for encoding time series as different types of images, namely, Gramian Angular Summation/Difference Fields (GASF/GADF) and Markov Transition Fields (MTF). This enables the use of techniques from computer vision for time series classification and imputation. We used Tiled Convolutional Neural Networks (tiled CNNs) on 20 standard datasets to learn high-level features from the individual and compound GASF-GADF-MTF images. Our approaches achieve highly competitive results when compared to nine of the current best time series classification approaches. Inspired by the bijection property of GASF on 0/1 rescaled data, we train Denoised Auto-encoders (DA) on the GASF images of four standard and one synthesized compound dataset. The imputation MSE on test data is reduced by 12.18%-48.02% when compared to using the raw data. An analysis of the features and weights learned via tiled CNNs and DAs explains why the approaches work.
Typical dimensionality reduction methods focus on directly reducing the number of random variables while retaining maximal variations in the data. In this paper, we consider the dimensionality reduction in parameter spaces of binary multivariate distributions. We propose a general Confident-Information-First (CIF) principle to maximally preserve parameters with confident estimates and rule out unreliable or noisy parameters. Formally, the confidence of a parameter can be assessed by its Fisher information, which establishes a connection with the inverse variance of any unbiased estimate for the parameter via the Cram\'{e}r-Rao bound. We then revisit Boltzmann machines (BM) and theoretically show that both single-layer BM without hidden units (SBM) and restricted BM (RBM) can be solidly derived using the CIF principle. This can not only help us uncover and formalize the essential parts of the target density that SBM and RBM capture, but also suggest that the deep neural network consisting of several layers of RBM can be seen as the layer-wise application of CIF. Guided by the theoretical analysis, we develop a sample-specific CIF-based contrastive divergence (CD-CIF) algorithm for SBM and a CIF-based iterative projection procedure (IP) for RBM. Both CD-CIF and IP are studied in a series of density estimation experiments.
For discrete data, the likelihood $P(x)$ can be rewritten exactly and parametrized into $P(X = x) = P(X = x | H = f(x)) P(H = f(x))$ if $P(X | H)$ has enough capacity to put no probability mass on any $x'$ for which $f(x')\neq f(x)$, where $f(\cdot)$ is a deterministic discrete function. The log of the first factor gives rise to the log-likelihood reconstruction error of an autoencoder with $f(\cdot)$ as the encoder and $P(X|H)$ as the (probabilistic) decoder. The log of the second term can be seen as a regularizer on the encoded activations $h=f(x)$, e.g., as in sparse autoencoders. Both encoder and decoder can be represented by a deep neural network and trained to maximize the average of the optimal log-likelihood $\log p(x)$. The objective is to learn an encoder $f(\cdot)$ that maps $X$ to $f(X)$ that has a much simpler distribution than $X$ itself, estimated by $P(H)$. This "flattens the manifold" or concentrates probability mass in a smaller number of (relevant) dimensions over which the distribution factorizes. Generating samples from the model is straightforward using ancestral sampling. One challenge is that regular back-propagation cannot be used to obtain the gradient on the parameters of the encoder, but we find that using the straight-through estimator works well here. We also find that although optimizing a single level of such architecture may be difficult, much better results can be obtained by pre-training and stacking them, gradually transforming the data distribution into one that is more easily captured by a simple parametric model.
In this paper, we present an infinite hierarchical non-parametric Bayesian model to extract the hidden factors over observed data, where the number of hidden factors for each layer is unknown and can be potentially infinite. Moreover, the number of layers can also be infinite. We construct the model structure that allows continuous values for the hidden factors and weights, which makes the model suitable for various applications. We use the Metropolis-Hastings method to infer the model structure. Then the performance of the algorithm is evaluated by the experiments. Simulation results show that the model fits the underlying structure of simulated data.
Training deep belief networks (DBNs) requires optimizing a non-convex function with an extremely large number of parameters. Naturally, existing gradient descent (GD) based methods are prone to arbitrarily poor local minima. In this paper, we rigorously show that such local minima can be avoided (upto an approximation error) by using the dropout technique, a widely used heuristic in this domain. In particular, we show that by randomly dropping a few nodes of a one-hidden layer neural network, the training objective function, up to a certain approximation error, decreases by a multiplicative factor. On the flip side, we show that for training convex empirical risk minimizers (ERM), dropout in fact acts as a "stabilizer" or regularizer. That is, a simple dropout based GD method for convex ERMs is stable in the face of arbitrary changes to any one of the training points. Using the above assertion, we show that dropout provides fast rates for generalization error in learning (convex) generalized linear models (GLM). Moreover, using the above mentioned stability properties of dropout, we design dropout based differentially private algorithms for solving ERMs. The learned GLM thus, preserves privacy of each of the individual training points while providing accurate predictions for new test points. Finally, we empirically validate our stability assertions for dropout in the context of convex ERMs and show that surprisingly, dropout significantly outperforms (in terms of prediction accuracy) the L2 regularization based methods for several benchmark datasets.
We introduce a new representation learning approach for domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our approach is directly inspired by the theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on features that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. The approach implements this idea in the context of neural network architectures that are trained on labeled data from the source domain and unlabeled data from the target domain (no labeled target-domain data is necessary). As the training progresses, the approach promotes the emergence of features that are (i) discriminative for the main learning task on the source domain and (ii) indiscriminate with respect to the shift between the domains. We show that this adaptation behaviour can be achieved in almost any feed-forward model by augmenting it with few standard layers and a new gradient reversal layer. The resulting augmented architecture can be trained using standard backpropagation and stochastic gradient descent, and can thus be implemented with little effort using any of the deep learning packages. We demonstrate the success of our approach for two distinct classification problems (document sentiment analysis and image classification), where state-of-the-art domain adaptation performance on standard benchmarks is achieved. We also validate the approach for descriptor learning task in the context of person re-identification application.
We investigate the capacity, convexity and characterization of a general family of norm-constrained feed-forward networks.
Artificial neural networks are simple and efficient machine learning tools. Defined originally in the traditional setting of simple vector data, neural network models have evolved to address more and more difficulties of complex real world problems, ranging from time evolving data to sophisticated data structures such as graphs and functions. This paper summarizes advances on those themes from the last decade, with a focus on results obtained by members of the SAMM team of Universit\'e Paris 1
Training neural networks is a challenging non-convex optimization problem, and backpropagation or gradient descent can get stuck in spurious local optima. We propose a novel algorithm based on tensor decomposition for guaranteed training of two-layer neural networks. We provide risk bounds for our proposed method, with a polynomial sample complexity in the relevant parameters, such as input dimension and number of neurons. While learning arbitrary target functions is NP-hard, we provide transparent conditions on the function and the input for learnability. Our training method is based on tensor decomposition, which provably converges to the global optimum, under a set of mild non-degeneracy conditions. It consists of simple embarrassingly parallel linear and multi-linear operations, and is competitive with standard stochastic gradient descent (SGD), in terms of computational complexity. Thus, we propose a computationally efficient method with guaranteed risk bounds for training neural networks with one hidden layer.
We describe a simple multilayer bootstrap network for unsupervised dimensionality reduction that each layer of the network is a group of mutually independent k-centers clusterings, and the centers of a clustering are randomly sampled data points. We further compress the network size of multilayer bootstrap network by a neural network in a pseudo supervised way for prediction. We report comparison results in data visualization, clustering, and document retrieval.
Training neural networks involves solving large-scale non-convex optimization problems. This task has long been believed to be extremely difficult, with fear of local minima and other obstacles motivating a variety of schemes to improve optimization, such as unsupervised pretraining. However, modern neural networks are able to achieve negligible training error on complex tasks, using only direct training with stochastic gradient descent. We introduce a simple analysis technique to look for evidence that such networks are overcoming local optima. We find that, in fact, on a straight path from initialization to solution, a variety of state of the art neural networks never encounter any significant obstacles.
Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) are powerful models for sequential data that have the potential to learn long-term dependencies. However, they are computationally expensive to train and difficult to parallelize. Recent work has shown that normalizing intermediate representations of neural networks can significantly improve convergence rates in feedforward neural networks . In particular, batch normalization, which uses mini-batch statistics to standardize features, was shown to significantly reduce training time. In this paper, we show that applying batch normalization to the hidden-to-hidden transitions of our RNNs doesn't help the training procedure. We also show that when applied to the input-to-hidden transitions, batch normalization can lead to a faster convergence of the training criterion but doesn't seem to improve the generalization performance on both our language modelling and speech recognition tasks. All in all, applying batch normalization to RNNs turns out to be more challenging than applying it to feedforward networks, but certain variants of it can still be beneficial.
Deep neural networks are commonly trained using stochastic non-convex optimization procedures, which are driven by gradient information estimated on fractions (batches) of the dataset. While it is commonly accepted that batch size is an important parameter for offline tuning, the benefits of online selection of batches remain poorly understood. We investigate online batch selection strategies for two state-of-the-art methods of stochastic gradient-based optimization, AdaDelta and Adam. As the loss function to be minimized for the whole dataset is an aggregation of loss functions of individual datapoints, intuitively, datapoints with the greatest loss should be considered (selected in a batch) more frequently. However, the limitations of this intuition and the proper control of the selection pressure over time are open questions. We propose a simple strategy where all datapoints are ranked w.r.t. their latest known loss value and the probability to be selected decays exponentially as a function of rank. Our experimental results on the MNIST dataset suggest that selecting batches speeds up both AdaDelta and Adam by a factor of about 5.
We introduce a convolutional neural network that operates directly on graphs. These networks allow end-to-end learning of prediction pipelines whose inputs are graphs of arbitrary size and shape. The architecture we present generalizes standard molecular feature extraction methods based on circular fingerprints. We show that these data-driven features are more interpretable, and have better predictive performance on a variety of tasks.
Deep learning is a broad set of techniques that uses multiple layers of representation to automatically learn relevant features directly from structured data. Recently, such techniques have yielded record-breaking results on a diverse set of difficult machine learning tasks in computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing. Despite the enormous success of deep learning, relatively little is understood theoretically about why these techniques are so successful at feature learning and compression. Here, we show that deep learning is intimately related to one of the most important and successful techniques in theoretical physics, the renormalization group (RG). RG is an iterative coarse-graining scheme that allows for the extraction of relevant features (i.e. operators) as a physical system is examined at different length scales. We construct an exact mapping from the variational renormalization group, first introduced by Kadanoff, and deep learning architectures based on Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs). We illustrate these ideas using the nearest-neighbor Ising Model in one and two-dimensions. Our results suggests that deep learning algorithms may be employing a generalized RG-like scheme to learn relevant features from data.
We introduce a new representation learning algorithm suited to the context of domain adaptation, in which data at training and test time come from similar but different distributions. Our algorithm is directly inspired by theory on domain adaptation suggesting that, for effective domain transfer to be achieved, predictions must be made based on a data representation that cannot discriminate between the training (source) and test (target) domains. We propose a training objective that implements this idea in the context of a neural network, whose hidden layer is trained to be predictive of the classification task, but uninformative as to the domain of the input. Our experiments on a sentiment analysis classification benchmark, where the target domain data available at training time is unlabeled, show that our neural network for domain adaption algorithm has better performance than either a standard neural network or an SVM, even if trained on input features extracted with the state-of-the-art marginalized stacked denoising autoencoders of Chen et al. (2012).
In science and engineering, intelligent processing of complex signals such as images, sound or language is often performed by a parameterized hierarchy of nonlinear processing layers, sometimes biologically inspired. Hierarchical systems (or, more generally, nested systems) offer a way to generate complex mappings using simple stages. Each layer performs a different operation and achieves an ever more sophisticated representation of the input, as, for example, in an deep artificial neural network, an object recognition cascade in computer vision or a speech front-end processing. Joint estimation of the parameters of all the layers and selection of an optimal architecture is widely considered to be a difficult numerical nonconvex optimization problem, difficult to parallelize for execution in a distributed computation environment, and requiring significant human expert effort, which leads to suboptimal systems in practice. We describe a general mathematical strategy to learn the parameters and, to some extent, the architecture of nested systems, called the method of auxiliary coordinates (MAC). This replaces the original problem involving a deeply nested function with a constrained problem involving a different function in an augmented space without nesting. The constrained problem may be solved with penal