Get our free extension to see links to code for papers anywhere online!Free add-on: code for papers everywhere!Free add-on: See code for papers anywhere!

CIMS

Abstract:Attention-based mechanisms are widely used in machine learning, most prominently in transformers. However, hyperparameters such as the rank of the attention matrices and the number of heads are scaled nearly the same way in all realizations of this architecture, without theoretical justification. In this work we show that there are dramatic trade-offs between the rank and number of heads of the attention mechanism. Specifically, we present a simple and natural target function that can be represented using a single full-rank attention head for any context length, but that cannot be approximated by low-rank attention unless the number of heads is exponential in the embedding dimension, even for short context lengths. Moreover, we prove that, for short context lengths, adding depth allows the target to be approximated by low-rank attention. For long contexts, we conjecture that full-rank attention is necessary. Finally, we present experiments with off-the-shelf transformers that validate our theoretical findings.

Via

Abstract:Score-based diffusion models have significantly advanced high-dimensional data generation across various domains, by learning a denoising oracle (or score) from datasets. From a Bayesian perspective, they offer a realistic modeling of data priors and facilitate solving inverse problems through posterior sampling. Although many heuristic methods have been developed recently for this purpose, they lack the quantitative guarantees needed in many scientific applications. In this work, we introduce the \textit{tilted transport} technique, which leverages the quadratic structure of the log-likelihood in linear inverse problems in combination with the prior denoising oracle to transform the original posterior sampling problem into a new `boosted' posterior that is provably easier to sample from. We quantify the conditions under which this boosted posterior is strongly log-concave, highlighting the dependencies on the condition number of the measurement matrix and the signal-to-noise ratio. The resulting posterior sampling scheme is shown to reach the computational threshold predicted for sampling Ising models [Kunisky'23] with a direct analysis, and is further validated on high-dimensional Gaussian mixture models and scalar field $\varphi^4$ models.

Via

Abstract:In addition to the ability to generate fluent text in various languages, large language models have been successful at tasks that involve basic forms of logical "reasoning" over their context. Recent work found that selectively removing certain components from weight matrices in pre-trained models can improve such reasoning capabilities. We investigate this phenomenon further by carefully studying how certain global associations tend to be stored in specific weight components or Transformer blocks, in particular feed-forward layers. Such associations may hurt predictions in reasoning tasks, and removing the corresponding components may then improve performance. We analyze how this arises during training, both empirically and theoretically, on a two-layer Transformer trained on a basic reasoning task with noise, a toy associative memory model, and on the Pythia family of pre-trained models tested on simple reasoning tasks.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Single-Index Models are high-dimensional regression problems with planted structure, whereby labels depend on an unknown one-dimensional projection of the input via a generic, non-linear, and potentially non-deterministic transformation. As such, they encompass a broad class of statistical inference tasks, and provide a rich template to study statistical and computational trade-offs in the high-dimensional regime. While the information-theoretic sample complexity to recover the hidden direction is linear in the dimension $d$, we show that computationally efficient algorithms, both within the Statistical Query (SQ) and the Low-Degree Polynomial (LDP) framework, necessarily require $\Omega(d^{k^\star/2})$ samples, where $k^\star$ is a "generative" exponent associated with the model that we explicitly characterize. Moreover, we show that this sample complexity is also sufficient, by establishing matching upper bounds using a partial-trace algorithm. Therefore, our results provide evidence of a sharp computational-to-statistical gap (under both the SQ and LDP class) whenever $k^\star>2$. To complete the study, we provide examples of smooth and Lipschitz deterministic target functions with arbitrarily large generative exponents $k^\star$.

Via

Abstract:Stochastic optimal control, which has the goal of driving the behavior of noisy systems, is broadly applicable in science, engineering and artificial intelligence. Our work introduces Stochastic Optimal Control Matching (SOCM), a novel Iterative Diffusion Optimization (IDO) technique for stochastic optimal control that stems from the same philosophy as the conditional score matching loss for diffusion models. That is, the control is learned via a least squares problem by trying to fit a matching vector field. The training loss, which is closely connected to the cross-entropy loss, is optimized with respect to both the control function and a family of reparameterization matrices which appear in the matching vector field. The optimization with respect to the reparameterization matrices aims at minimizing the variance of the matching vector field. Experimentally, our algorithm achieves lower error than all the existing IDO techniques for stochastic optimal control for four different control settings. The key idea underlying SOCM is the path-wise reparameterization trick, a novel technique that is of independent interest, e.g., for generative modeling.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We study gradient flow on the multi-index regression problem for high-dimensional Gaussian data. Multi-index functions consist of a composition of an unknown low-rank linear projection and an arbitrary unknown, low-dimensional link function. As such, they constitute a natural template for feature learning in neural networks. We consider a two-timescale algorithm, whereby the low-dimensional link function is learnt with a non-parametric model infinitely faster than the subspace parametrizing the low-rank projection. By appropriately exploiting the matrix semigroup structure arising over the subspace correlation matrices, we establish global convergence of the resulting Grassmannian population gradient flow dynamics, and provide a quantitative description of its associated `saddle-to-saddle' dynamics. Notably, the timescales associated with each saddle can be explicitly characterized in terms of an appropriate Hermite decomposition of the target link function. In contrast with these positive results, we also show that the related \emph{planted} problem, where the link function is known and fixed, in fact has a rough optimization landscape, in which gradient flow dynamics might get trapped with high probability.

Via

Abstract:Few neural architectures lend themselves to provable learning with gradient based methods. One popular model is the single-index model, in which labels are produced by composing an unknown linear projection with a possibly unknown scalar link function. Learning this model with SGD is relatively well-understood, whereby the so-called information exponent of the link function governs a polynomial sample complexity rate. However, extending this analysis to deeper or more complicated architectures remains challenging. In this work, we consider single index learning in the setting of symmetric neural networks. Under analytic assumptions on the activation and maximum degree assumptions on the link function, we prove that gradient flow recovers the hidden planted direction, represented as a finitely supported vector in the feature space of power sum polynomials. We characterize a notion of information exponent adapted to our setting that controls the efficiency of learning.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Sparse high-dimensional functions have arisen as a rich framework to study the behavior of gradient-descent methods using shallow neural networks, showcasing their ability to perform feature learning beyond linear models. Amongst those functions, the simplest are single-index models $f(x) = \phi( x \cdot \theta^*)$, where the labels are generated by an arbitrary non-linear scalar link function $\phi$ applied to an unknown one-dimensional projection $\theta^*$ of the input data. By focusing on Gaussian data, several recent works have built a remarkable picture, where the so-called information exponent (related to the regularity of the link function) controls the required sample complexity. In essence, these tools exploit the stability and spherical symmetry of Gaussian distributions. In this work, building from the framework of \cite{arous2020online}, we explore extensions of this picture beyond the Gaussian setting, where both stability or symmetry might be violated. Focusing on the planted setting where $\phi$ is known, our main results establish that Stochastic Gradient Descent can efficiently recover the unknown direction $\theta^*$ in the high-dimensional regime, under assumptions that extend previous works ~\cite{yehudai2020learning,wu2022learning}.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Graph neural networks (GNNs) have become increasingly popular for classification tasks on graph-structured data. Yet, the interplay between graph topology and feature evolution in GNNs is not well understood. In this paper, we focus on node-wise classification, illustrated with community detection on stochastic block model graphs, and explore the feature evolution through the lens of the "Neural Collapse" (NC) phenomenon. When training instance-wise deep classifiers (e.g. for image classification) beyond the zero training error point, NC demonstrates a reduction in the deepest features' within-class variability and an increased alignment of their class means to certain symmetric structures. We start with an empirical study that shows that a decrease in within-class variability is also prevalent in the node-wise classification setting, however, not to the extent observed in the instance-wise case. Then, we theoretically study this distinction. Specifically, we show that even an "optimistic" mathematical model requires that the graphs obey a strict structural condition in order to possess a minimizer with exact collapse. Interestingly, this condition is viable also for heterophilic graphs and relates to recent empirical studies on settings with improved GNNs' generalization. Furthermore, by studying the gradient dynamics of the theoretical model, we provide reasoning for the partial collapse observed empirically. Finally, we present a study on the evolution of within- and between-class feature variability across layers of a well-trained GNN and contrast the behavior with spectral methods.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:There is a growing gap between the impressive results of deep image generative models and classical algorithms that offer theoretical guarantees. The former suffer from mode collapse or memorization issues, limiting their application to scientific data. The latter require restrictive assumptions such as log-concavity to escape the curse of dimensionality. We partially bridge this gap by introducing conditionally strongly log-concave (CSLC) models, which factorize the data distribution into a product of conditional probability distributions that are strongly log-concave. This factorization is obtained with orthogonal projectors adapted to the data distribution. It leads to efficient parameter estimation and sampling algorithms, with theoretical guarantees, although the data distribution is not globally log-concave. We show that several challenging multiscale processes are conditionally log-concave using wavelet packet orthogonal projectors. Numerical results are shown for physical fields such as the $\varphi^4$ model and weak lensing convergence maps with higher resolution than in previous works.

Via