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Nirmit Joshi, Gal Vardi, Nathan Srebro

We study the asymptotic overfitting behavior of interpolation with minimum norm ($\ell_2$ of the weights) two-layer ReLU networks for noisy univariate regression. We show that overfitting is tempered for the $L_1$ loss, and any $L_p$ loss for $p<2$, but catastrophic for $p\geq 2$.

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Lijia Zhou, Zhen Dai, Frederic Koehler, Nathan Srebro

We establish generic uniform convergence guarantees for Gaussian data in terms of the Rademacher complexity of the hypothesis class and the Lipschitz constant of the square root of the scalar loss function. We show how these guarantees substantially generalize previous results based on smoothness (Lipschitz constant of the derivative), and allow us to handle the broader class of square-root-Lipschitz losses, which includes also non-smooth loss functions appropriate for studying phase retrieval and ReLU regression, as well as rederive and better understand "optimistic rate" and interpolation learning guarantees.

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Lijia Zhou, James B. Simon, Gal Vardi, Nathan Srebro

We study the cost of overfitting in noisy kernel ridge regression (KRR), which we define as the ratio between the test error of the interpolating ridgeless model and the test error of the optimally-tuned model. We take an "agnostic" view in the following sense: we consider the cost as a function of sample size for any target function, even if the sample size is not large enough for consistency or the target is outside the RKHS. We analyze the cost of overfitting under a Gaussian universality ansatz using recently derived (non-rigorous) risk estimates in terms of the task eigenstructure. Our analysis provides a more refined characterization of benign, tempered and catastrophic overfitting (qv Mallinar et al. 2022).

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Itay Evron, Edward Moroshko, Gon Buzaglo, Maroun Khriesh, Badea Marjieh, Nathan Srebro, Daniel Soudry

We analyze continual learning on a sequence of separable linear classification tasks with binary labels. We show theoretically that learning with weak regularization reduces to solving a sequential max-margin problem, corresponding to a special case of the Projection Onto Convex Sets (POCS) framework. We then develop upper bounds on the forgetting and other quantities of interest under various settings with recurring tasks, including cyclic and random orderings of tasks. We discuss several practical implications to popular training practices like regularization scheduling and weighting. We point out several theoretical differences between our continual classification setting and a recently studied continual regression setting.

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Amit Daniely, Nathan Srebro, Gal Vardi

We present a PTAS for learning random constant-depth networks. We show that for any fixed $\epsilon>0$ and depth $i$, there is a poly-time algorithm that for any distribution on $\sqrt{d} \cdot \mathbb{S}^{d-1}$ learns random Xavier networks of depth $i$, up to an additive error of $\epsilon$. The algorithm runs in time and sample complexity of $(\bar{d})^{\mathrm{poly}(\epsilon^{-1})}$, where $\bar d$ is the size of the network. For some cases of sigmoid and ReLU-like activations the bound can be improved to $(\bar{d})^{\mathrm{polylog}(\epsilon^{-1})}$, resulting in a quasi-poly-time algorithm for learning constant depth random networks.

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Spencer Frei, Gal Vardi, Peter L. Bartlett, Nathan Srebro

Linear classifiers and leaky ReLU networks trained by gradient flow on the logistic loss have an implicit bias towards solutions which satisfy the Karush--Kuhn--Tucker (KKT) conditions for margin maximization. In this work we establish a number of settings where the satisfaction of these KKT conditions implies benign overfitting in linear classifiers and in two-layer leaky ReLU networks: the estimators interpolate noisy training data and simultaneously generalize well to test data. The settings include variants of the noisy class-conditional Gaussians considered in previous work as well as new distributional settings where benign overfitting has not been previously observed. The key ingredient to our proof is the observation that when the training data is nearly-orthogonal, both linear classifiers and leaky ReLU networks satisfying the KKT conditions for their respective margin maximization problems behave like a nearly uniform average of the training examples.

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Spencer Frei, Gal Vardi, Peter L. Bartlett, Nathan Srebro

In this work, we study the implications of the implicit bias of gradient flow on generalization and adversarial robustness in ReLU networks. We focus on a setting where the data consists of clusters and the correlations between cluster means are small, and show that in two-layer ReLU networks gradient flow is biased towards solutions that generalize well, but are highly vulnerable to adversarial examples. Our results hold even in cases where the network has many more parameters than training examples. Despite the potential for harmful overfitting in such overparameterized settings, we prove that the implicit bias of gradient flow prevents it. However, the implicit bias also leads to non-robust solutions (susceptible to small adversarial $\ell_2$-perturbations), even though robust networks that fit the data exist.

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Amit Daniely, Nathan Srebro, Gal Vardi

Understanding when neural networks can be learned efficiently is a fundamental question in learning theory. Existing hardness results suggest that assumptions on both the input distribution and the network's weights are necessary for obtaining efficient algorithms. Moreover, it was previously shown that depth-$2$ networks can be efficiently learned under the assumptions that the input distribution is Gaussian, and the weight matrix is non-degenerate. In this work, we study whether such assumptions may suffice for learning deeper networks and prove negative results. We show that learning depth-$3$ ReLU networks under the Gaussian input distribution is hard even in the smoothed-analysis framework, where a random noise is added to the network's parameters. It implies that learning depth-$3$ ReLU networks under the Gaussian distribution is hard even if the weight matrices are non-degenerate. Moreover, we consider depth-$2$ networks, and show hardness of learning in the smoothed-analysis framework, where both the network parameters and the input distribution are smoothed. Our hardness results are under a well-studied assumption on the existence of local pseudorandom generators.

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Naren Sarayu Manoj, Nathan Srebro

We prove that the Minimum Description Length learning rule exhibits tempered overfitting. We obtain tempered agnostic finite sample learning guarantees and characterize the asymptotic behavior in the presence of random label noise.

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