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Magnitude Invariant Parametrizations Improve Hypernetwork Learning

Jose Javier Gonzalez Ortiz · John Guttag · Adrian Dalca

Halle B #147
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Thu 9 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Hypernetworks, neural networks that predict the parameters of another neural network, are powerful models that have been successfully used in diverse applications from image generation to multi-task learning. Unfortunately, existing hypernetworks are often challenging to train. Training typically converges far more slowly than for non-hypernetwork models, and the rate of convergence can be very sensitive to hyperparameter choices. In this work, we identify a fundamental and previously unidentified problem that contributes to the challenge of training hypernetworks: a magnitude proportionality between the inputs and outputs of the hypernetwork. We demonstrate both analytically and empirically that this can lead to unstable optimization, thereby slowing down convergence, and sometimes even preventing any learning. We present a simple solution to this problem using a revised hypernetwork formulation that we call Magnitude Invariant Parametrizations (MIP). We demonstrate the proposed solution on several hypernetwork tasks, where it consistently stabilizes training and achieves faster convergence. Furthermore, we perform a comprehensive ablation study including choices of activation function, normalization strategies, input dimensionality, and hypernetwork architecture; and find that MIP improves training in all scenarios. We provide easy-to-use code that can turn existing networks into MIP-based hypernetworks.

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