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Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Abstract:Over the past decade, there is a growing interest in collaborative learning that can enhance AI models of multiple parties. However, it is still challenging to enhance performance them without sharing private data and models from individual parties. One recent promising approach is to develop distillation-based algorithms that exploit unlabeled public data but the results are still unsatisfactory in both theory and practice. To tackle this problem, we rigorously analyze a representative distillation-based algorithm in the view of kernel regression. This work provides the first theoretical results to prove the (nearly) minimax optimality of the nonparametric collaborative learning algorithm that does not directly share local data or models in massively distributed statistically heterogeneous environments. Inspired by our theoretical results, we also propose a practical distillation-based collaborative learning algorithm based on neural network architecture. Our algorithm successfully bridges the gap between our theoretical assumptions and practical settings with neural networks through feature kernel matching. We simulate various regression tasks to verify our theory and demonstrate the practical feasibility of our proposed algorithm.

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Abstract:Research into the expressive power of neural networks typically considers real parameters and operations without rounding error. In this work, we study universal approximation property of quantized networks under discrete fixed-point parameters and fixed-point operations that may incur errors due to rounding. We first provide a necessary condition and a sufficient condition on fixed-point arithmetic and activation functions for universal approximation of quantized networks. Then, we show that various popular activation functions satisfy our sufficient condition, e.g., Sigmoid, ReLU, ELU, SoftPlus, SiLU, Mish, and GELU. In other words, networks using those activation functions are capable of universal approximation. We further show that our necessary condition and sufficient condition coincide under a mild condition on activation functions: e.g., for an activation function $\sigma$, there exists a fixed-point number $x$ such that $\sigma(x)=0$. Namely, we find a necessary and sufficient condition for a large class of activation functions. We lastly show that even quantized networks using binary weights in $\{-1,1\}$ can also universally approximate for practical activation functions.

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Abstract:The study of the expressive power of neural networks has investigated the fundamental limits of neural networks. Most existing results assume real-valued inputs and parameters as well as exact operations during the evaluation of neural networks. However, neural networks are typically executed on computers that can only represent a tiny subset of the reals and apply inexact operations. In this work, we analyze the expressive power of neural networks under a more realistic setup: when we use floating-point numbers and operations. Our first set of results assumes floating-point operations where the significand of a float is represented by finite bits but its exponent can take any integer value. Under this setup, we show that neural networks using a binary threshold unit or ReLU can memorize any finite input/output pairs and can approximate any continuous function within a small error. We also show similar results on memorization and universal approximation when floating-point operations use finite bits for both significand and exponent; these results are applicable to many popular floating-point formats such as those defined in the IEEE 754 standard (e.g., 32-bit single-precision format) and bfloat16.

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Abstract:The universal approximation property of width-bounded networks has been studied as a dual of the classical universal approximation theorem for depth-bounded ones. There were several attempts to characterize the minimum width $w_{\min}$ enabling the universal approximation property; however, only a few of them found the exact values. In this work, we show that the minimum width for the universal approximation of $L^p$ functions from $[0,1]^{d_x}$ to $\mathbb R^{d_y}$ is exactly $\max\{d_x,d_y,2\}$ if an activation function is ReLU-Like (e.g., ReLU, GELU, Softplus). Compared to the known result $w_{\min}=\max\{d_x+1,d_y\}$ when the domain is ${\mathbb R^{d_x}}$, our result first shows that approximation on a compact domain requires smaller width than on ${\mathbb R^{d_x}}$. We next prove a lower bound on $w_{\min}$ for uniform approximation using general activation functions including ReLU: $w_{\min}\ge d_y+1$ if $d_x<d_y\le2d_x$. Together with our first result, this shows a dichotomy between $L^p$ and uniform approximations for general activation functions and input/output dimensions.

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Abstract:An energy-based model (EBM) is a popular generative framework that offers both explicit density and architectural flexibility, but training them is difficult since it is often unstable and time-consuming. In recent years, various training techniques have been developed, e.g., better divergence measures or stabilization in MCMC sampling, but there often exists a large gap between EBMs and other generative frameworks like GANs in terms of generation quality. In this paper, we propose a novel and effective framework for improving EBMs via contrastive representation learning (CRL). To be specific, we consider representations learned by contrastive methods as the true underlying latent variable. This contrastive latent variable could guide EBMs to understand the data structure better, so it can improve and accelerate EBM training significantly. To enable the joint training of EBM and CRL, we also design a new class of latent-variable EBMs for learning the joint density of data and the contrastive latent variable. Our experimental results demonstrate that our scheme achieves lower FID scores, compared to prior-art EBM methods (e.g., additionally using variational autoencoders or diffusion techniques), even with significantly faster and more memory-efficient training. We also show conditional and compositional generation abilities of our latent-variable EBMs as their additional benefits, even without explicit conditional training. The code is available at https://github.com/hankook/CLEL.

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Abstract:Recent work has shown that automatic differentiation over the reals is almost always correct in a mathematically precise sense. However, actual programs work with machine-representable numbers (e.g., floating-point numbers), not reals. In this paper, we study the correctness of automatic differentiation when the parameter space of a neural network consists solely of machine-representable numbers. For a neural network with bias parameters, we prove that automatic differentiation is correct at all parameters where the network is differentiable. In contrast, it is incorrect at all parameters where the network is non-differentiable, since it never informs non-differentiability. To better understand this non-differentiable set of parameters, we prove a tight bound on its size, which is linear in the number of non-differentiabilities in activation functions, and provide a simple necessary and sufficient condition for a parameter to be in this set. We further prove that automatic differentiation always computes a Clarke subderivative, even on the non-differentiable set. We also extend these results to neural networks possibly without bias parameters.

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Abstract:We study the problem of training a two-layer neural network (NN) of arbitrary width using stochastic gradient descent (SGD) where the input $\boldsymbol{x}\in \mathbb{R}^d$ is Gaussian and the target $y \in \mathbb{R}$ follows a multiple-index model, i.e., $y=g(\langle\boldsymbol{u_1},\boldsymbol{x}\rangle,...,\langle\boldsymbol{u_k},\boldsymbol{x}\rangle)$ with a noisy link function $g$. We prove that the first-layer weights of the NN converge to the $k$-dimensional principal subspace spanned by the vectors $\boldsymbol{u_1},...,\boldsymbol{u_k}$ of the true model, when online SGD with weight decay is used for training. This phenomenon has several important consequences when $k \ll d$. First, by employing uniform convergence on this smaller subspace, we establish a generalization error bound of $\mathcal{O}(\sqrt{{kd}/{T}})$ after $T$ iterations of SGD, which is independent of the width of the NN. We further demonstrate that, SGD-trained ReLU NNs can learn a single-index target of the form $y=f(\langle\boldsymbol{u},\boldsymbol{x}\rangle) + \epsilon$ by recovering the principal direction, with a sample complexity linear in $d$ (up to log factors), where $f$ is a monotonic function with at most polynomial growth, and $\epsilon$ is the noise. This is in contrast to the known $d^{\Omega(p)}$ sample requirement to learn any degree $p$ polynomial in the kernel regime, and it shows that NNs trained with SGD can outperform the neural tangent kernel at initialization. Finally, we also provide compressibility guarantees for NNs using the approximate low-rank structure produced by SGD.

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Abstract:In this paper, we propose a new covering technique localized for the trajectories of SGD. This localization provides an algorithm-specific complexity measured by the covering number, which can have dimension-independent cardinality in contrast to standard uniform covering arguments that result in exponential dimension dependency. Based on this localized construction, we show that if the objective function is a finite perturbation of a piecewise strongly convex and smooth function with $P$ pieces, i.e. non-convex and non-smooth in general, the generalization error can be upper bounded by $O(\sqrt{(\log n\log(nP))/n})$, where $n$ is the number of data samples. In particular, this rate is independent of dimension and does not require early stopping and decaying step size. Finally, we employ these results in various contexts and derive generalization bounds for multi-index linear models, multi-class support vector machines, and $K$-means clustering for both hard and soft label setups, improving the known state-of-the-art rates.

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Abstract:Randomized smoothing is currently a state-of-the-art method to construct a certifiably robust classifier from neural networks against $\ell_2$-adversarial perturbations. Under the paradigm, the robustness of a classifier is aligned with the prediction confidence, i.e., the higher confidence from a smoothed classifier implies the better robustness. This motivates us to rethink the fundamental trade-off between accuracy and robustness in terms of calibrating confidences of a smoothed classifier. In this paper, we propose a simple training scheme, coined SmoothMix, to control the robustness of smoothed classifiers via self-mixup: it trains on convex combinations of samples along the direction of adversarial perturbation for each input. The proposed procedure effectively identifies over-confident, near off-class samples as a cause of limited robustness in case of smoothed classifiers, and offers an intuitive way to adaptively set a new decision boundary between these samples for better robustness. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can significantly improve the certified $\ell_2$-robustness of smoothed classifiers compared to existing state-of-the-art robust training methods.

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Abstract:It is known that $\Theta(N)$ parameters are sufficient for neural networks to memorize arbitrary $N$ input-label pairs. By exploiting depth, we show that $\Theta(N^{2/3})$ parameters suffice to memorize $N$ pairs, under a mild condition on the separation of input points. In particular, deeper networks (even with width $3$) are shown to memorize more pairs than shallow networks, which also agrees with the recent line of works on the benefits of depth for function approximation. We also provide empirical results that support our theoretical findings.

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