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!

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Is it possible for a first-order method, i.e., only first derivatives allowed, to be quadratically convergent? For univariate loss functions, the answer is yes -- the Steffensen method avoids second derivatives and is still quadratically convergent like Newton method. By incorporating an optimal step size we can even push its convergence order beyond quadratic to $1+\sqrt{2} \approx 2.414$. While such high convergence orders are a pointless overkill for a deterministic algorithm, they become rewarding when the algorithm is randomized for problems of massive sizes, as randomization invariably compromises convergence speed. We will introduce two adaptive learning rates inspired by the Steffensen method, intended for use in a stochastic optimization setting and requires no hyperparameter tuning aside from batch size. Extensive experiments show that they compare favorably with several existing first-order methods. When restricted to a quadratic objective, our stochastic Steffensen methods reduce to randomized Kaczmarz method -- note that this is not true for SGD or SLBFGS -- and thus we may also view our methods as a generalization of randomized Kaczmarz to arbitrary objectives.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:It is well-known that any matrix $A$ has an LU decomposition. Less well-known is the fact that it has a 'Toeplitz decomposition' $A = T_1 T_2 \cdots T_r$ where $T_i$'s are Toeplitz matrices. We will prove that any continuous function $f : \mathbb{R}^n \to \mathbb{R}^m$ has an approximation to arbitrary accuracy by a neural network that takes the form $L_1 \sigma_1 U_1 \sigma_2 L_2 \sigma_3 U_2 \cdots L_r \sigma_{2r-1} U_r$, i.e., where the weight matrices alternate between lower and upper triangular matrices, $\sigma_i(x) := \sigma(x - b_i)$ for some bias vector $b_i$, and the activation $\sigma$ may be chosen to be essentially any uniformly continuous nonpolynomial function. The same result also holds with Toeplitz matrices, i.e., $f \approx T_1 \sigma_1 T_2 \sigma_2 \cdots \sigma_{r-1} T_r$ to arbitrary accuracy, and likewise for Hankel matrices. A consequence of our Toeplitz result is a fixed-width universal approximation theorem for convolutional neural networks, which so far have only arbitrary width versions. Since our results apply in particular to the case when $f$ is a general neural network, we may regard them as LU and Toeplitz decompositions of a neural network. The practical implication of our results is that one may vastly reduce the number of weight parameters in a neural network without sacrificing its power of universal approximation. We will present several experiments on real data sets to show that imposing such structures on the weight matrices sharply reduces the number of training parameters with almost no noticeable effect on test accuracy.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We explain equivariant neural networks, a notion underlying breakthroughs in machine learning from deep convolutional neural networks for computer vision to AlphaFold 2 for protein structure prediction, without assuming knowledge of equivariance or neural networks. The basic mathematical ideas are simple but are often obscured by engineering complications that come with practical realizations. We extract and focus on the mathematical aspects, and limit ourselves to a cursory treatment of the engineering issues at the end.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:Stochastic optimization algorithms have become indispensable in modern machine learning. An unresolved foundational question in this area is the difference between with-replacement sampling and without-replacement sampling -- does the latter have superior convergence rate compared to the former? A groundbreaking result of Recht and R\'e reduces the problem to a noncommutative analogue of the arithmetic-geometric mean inequality where $n$ positive numbers are replaced by $n$ positive definite matrices. If this inequality holds for all $n$, then without-replacement sampling indeed outperforms with-replacement sampling. The conjectured Recht-R\'e inequality has so far only been established for $n = 2$ and a special case of $n = 3$. We will show that the Recht-R\'e conjecture is false for general $n$. Our approach relies on the noncommutative Positivstellensatz, which allows us to reduce the conjectured inequality to a semidefinite program and the validity of the conjecture to certain bounds for the optimum values, which we show are false as soon as $n = 5$.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We study how the topology of a data set $M = M_a \cup M_b \subseteq \mathbb{R}^d$, representing two classes $a$ and $b$ in a binary classification problem, changes as it passes through the layers of a well-trained neural network, i.e., with perfect accuracy on training set and near-zero generalization error ($\approx 0.01\%$). The goal is to shed light on two mysteries in deep neural networks: (i) a nonsmooth activation function like ReLU outperforms a smooth one like hyperbolic tangent; (ii) successful neural network architectures rely on having many layers, even though a shallow network can approximate any function arbitrary well. We performed extensive experiments on the persistent homology of a wide range of point cloud data sets, both real and simulated. The results consistently demonstrate the following: (1) Neural networks operate by changing topology, transforming a topologically complicated data set into a topologically simple one as it passes through the layers. No matter how complicated the topology of $M$ we begin with, when passed through a well-trained neural network $f : \mathbb{R}^d \to \mathbb{R}^p$, there is a vast reduction in the Betti numbers of both components $M_a$ and $M_b$; in fact they nearly always reduce to their lowest possible values: $\beta_k\bigl(f(M_i)\bigr) = 0$ for $k \ge 1$ and $\beta_0\bigl(f(M_i)\bigr) = 1$, $i =a, b$. Furthermore, (2) the reduction in Betti numbers is significantly faster for ReLU activation than hyperbolic tangent activation as the former defines nonhomeomorphic maps that change topology, whereas the latter defines homeomorphic maps that preserve topology. Lastly, (3) shallow and deep networks transform data sets differently -- a shallow network operates mainly through changing geometry and changes topology only in its final layers, a deep one spreads topological changes more evenly across all layers.

Via

Abstract:We investigate the geometry of the empirical risk minimization problem for $k$-layer neural networks. We will provide examples showing that for the classical activation functions $\sigma(x)= 1/\bigl(1 + \exp(-x)\bigr)$ and $\sigma(x)=\tanh(x)$, there exists a positive-measured subset of target functions that do not have best approximations by a fixed number of layers of neural networks. In addition, we study in detail the properties of shallow networks, classifying cases when a best $k$-layer neural network approximation always exists or does not exist for the ReLU activation $\sigma=\max(0,x)$. We also determine the dimensions of shallow ReLU-activated networks.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We establish, for the first time, connections between feedforward neural networks with ReLU activation and tropical geometry --- we show that the family of such neural networks is equivalent to the family of tropical rational maps. Among other things, we deduce that feedforward ReLU neural networks with one hidden layer can be characterized by zonotopes, which serve as building blocks for deeper networks; we relate decision boundaries of such neural networks to tropical hypersurfaces, a major object of study in tropical geometry; and we prove that linear regions of such neural networks correspond to vertices of polytopes associated with tropical rational functions. An insight from our tropical formulation is that a deeper network is exponentially more expressive than a shallow network.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:The goal of cryo-electron microscopy (EM) is to reconstruct the 3-dimensional structure of a molecule from a collection of its 2-dimensional projected images. In this article, we show that the basic premise of cryo-EM --- patching together 2-dimensional projections to reconstruct a 3-dimensional object --- is naturally one of Cech cohomology with SO(2)-coefficients. We deduce that every cryo-EM reconstruction problem corresponds to an oriented circle bundle on a simplicial complex, allowing us to classify cryo-EM problems via principal bundles. In practice, the 2-dimensional images are noisy and a main task in cryo-EM is to denoise them. We will see how the aforementioned insights can be used towards this end.

Via

Figures and Tables:

Abstract:We propose a number of techniques for obtaining a global ranking from data that may be incomplete and imbalanced -- characteristics almost universal to modern datasets coming from e-commerce and internet applications. We are primarily interested in score or rating-based cardinal data. From raw ranking data, we construct pairwise rankings, represented as edge flows on an appropriate graph. Our statistical ranking method uses the graph Helmholtzian, the graph theoretic analogue of the Helmholtz operator or vector Laplacian, in much the same way the graph Laplacian is an analogue of the Laplace operator or scalar Laplacian. We study the graph Helmholtzian using combinatorial Hodge theory: we show that every edge flow representing pairwise ranking can be resolved into two orthogonal components, a gradient flow that represents the L2-optimal global ranking and a divergence-free flow (cyclic) that measures the validity of the global ranking obtained -- if this is large, then the data does not have a meaningful global ranking. This divergence-free flow can be further decomposed orthogonally into a curl flow (locally cyclic) and a harmonic flow (locally acyclic but globally cyclic); these provides information on whether inconsistency arises locally or globally. An obvious advantage over the NP-hard Kemeny optimization is that discrete Hodge decomposition may be computed via a linear least squares regression. We also investigated the L1-projection of edge flows, showing that this is dual to correlation maximization over bounded divergence-free flows, and the L1-approximate sparse cyclic ranking, showing that this is dual to correlation maximization over bounded curl-free flows. We discuss relations with Kemeny optimization, Borda count, and Kendall-Smith consistency index from social choice theory and statistics.

Via