On the Universality of the Double Descent Peak in Ridgeless Regression

David Holzm├╝ller


Keywords: [ Random Weights Neural Networks ] [ random features ] [ Linear Regression ] [ Interpolation Peak ] [ double descent ]


We prove a non-asymptotic distribution-independent lower bound for the expected mean squared generalization error caused by label noise in ridgeless linear regression. Our lower bound generalizes a similar known result to the overparameterized (interpolating) regime. In contrast to most previous works, our analysis applies to a broad class of input distributions with almost surely full-rank feature matrices, which allows us to cover various types of deterministic or random feature maps. Our lower bound is asymptotically sharp and implies that in the presence of label noise, ridgeless linear regression does not perform well around the interpolation threshold for any of these feature maps. We analyze the imposed assumptions in detail and provide a theory for analytic (random) feature maps. Using this theory, we can show that our assumptions are satisfied for input distributions with a (Lebesgue) density and feature maps given by random deep neural networks with analytic activation functions like sigmoid, tanh, softplus or GELU. As further examples, we show that feature maps from random Fourier features and polynomial kernels also satisfy our assumptions. We complement our theory with further experimental and analytic results.

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