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Abstract:Recurrent neural networks are a successful neural architecture for many time-dependent problems, including time series analysis, forecasting, and modeling of dynamical systems. Training such networks with backpropagation through time is a notoriously difficult problem because their loss gradients tend to explode or vanish. In this contribution, we introduce a computational approach to construct all weights and biases of a recurrent neural network without using gradient-based methods. The approach is based on a combination of random feature networks and Koopman operator theory for dynamical systems. The hidden parameters of a single recurrent block are sampled at random, while the outer weights are constructed using extended dynamic mode decomposition. This approach alleviates all problems with backpropagation commonly related to recurrent networks. The connection to Koopman operator theory also allows us to start using results in this area to analyze recurrent neural networks. In computational experiments on time series, forecasting for chaotic dynamical systems, and control problems, as well as on weather data, we observe that the training time and forecasting accuracy of the recurrent neural networks we construct are improved when compared to commonly used gradient-based methods.

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Authors:Erez Peterfreund, Iryna Burak, Ofir Lindenbaum, Jim Gimlett, Felix Dietrich, Ronald R. Coifman, Ioannis G. Kevrekidis

Abstract:Fusing measurements from multiple, heterogeneous, partial sources, observing a common object or process, poses challenges due to the increasing availability of numbers and types of sensors. In this work we propose, implement and validate an end-to-end computational pipeline in the form of a multiple-auto-encoder neural network architecture for this task. The inputs to the pipeline are several sets of partial observations, and the result is a globally consistent latent space, harmonizing (rigidifying, fusing) all measurements. The key enabler is the availability of multiple slightly perturbed measurements of each instance:, local measurement, "bursts", that allows us to estimate the local distortion induced by each instrument. We demonstrate the approach in a sequence of examples, starting with simple two-dimensional data sets and proceeding to a Wi-Fi localization problem and to the solution of a "dynamical puzzle" arising in spatio-temporal observations of the solutions of Partial Differential Equations.

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Abstract:We introduce a probability distribution, combined with an efficient sampling algorithm, for weights and biases of fully-connected neural networks. In a supervised learning context, no iterative optimization or gradient computations of internal network parameters are needed to obtain a trained network. The sampling is based on the idea of random feature models. However, instead of a data-agnostic distribution, e.g., a normal distribution, we use both the input and the output training data of the supervised learning problem to sample both shallow and deep networks. We prove that the sampled networks we construct are universal approximators. We also show that our sampling scheme is invariant to rigid body transformations and scaling of the input data. This implies many popular pre-processing techniques are no longer required. For Barron functions, we show that the $L^2$-approximation error of sampled shallow networks decreases with the square root of the number of neurons. In numerical experiments, we demonstrate that sampled networks achieve comparable accuracy as iteratively trained ones, but can be constructed orders of magnitude faster. Our test cases involve a classification benchmark from OpenML, sampling of neural operators to represent maps in function spaces, and transfer learning using well-known architectures.

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