Training invariances and the low-rank phenomenon: beyond linear networks

Thien Le · Stefanie Jegelka

[ Abstract ]
Mon 25 Apr 6:30 p.m. —

The implicit bias induced by the training of neural networks has become a topic of rigorous study. In the limit of gradient flow and gradient descent with appropriate step size, it has been shown that when one trains a deep linear network with logistic or exponential loss on linearly separable data, the weights converge to rank-1 matrices. In this paper, we extend this theoretical result to the much wider class of nonlinear ReLU-activated feedforward networks containing fully-connected layers and skip connections. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a low-rank phenomenon is proven rigorously for these architectures, and it reflects empirical results in the literature. The proof relies on specific local training invariances, sometimes referred to as alignment, which we show to hold for a wide set of ReLU architectures. Our proof relies on a specific decomposition of the network into a multilinear (up to sign) function and another ReLU network whose weights are constant under a certain parameter directional convergence.

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