Batch Normalization (BN) improves both convergence and generalization in training neural networks. This work understands these phenomena theoretically. We analyze BN by using a basic block of neural networks, consisting of a kernel layer, a BN layer, and a nonlinear activation function. This basic network helps us understand the impacts of BN in three aspects. First, by viewing BN as an implicit regularizer, BN can be decomposed into population normalization (PN) and gamma decay as an explicit regularization. Second, learning dynamics of BN and the regularization show that training converged with large maximum and effective learning rate. Third, generalization of BN is explored by using statistical mechanics. Experiments demonstrate that BN in convolutional neural networks share the same traits of regularization as the above analyses.
We aim to better understand attention over nodes in graph neural networks (GNNs) and identify factors influencing its effectiveness. We particularly focus on the ability of attention GNNs to generalize to larger, more complex or noisy graphs. Motivated by insights from the work on Graph Isomorphism Networks, we design simple graph reasoning tasks that allow us to study attention in a controlled environment. We find that under typical conditions the effect of attention is negligible or even harmful, but under certain conditions it provides an exceptional gain in performance of more than 60% in some of our classification tasks. Satisfying these conditions in practice is challenging and often requires optimal initialization or supervised training of attention. We propose an alternative recipe and train attention in a weakly-supervised fashion that approaches the performance of supervised models, and, compared to unsupervised models, improves results on several synthetic as well as real datasets. Source code and datasets are available at https://github.com/bknyaz/graph_attention_pool.
We study the impact of neural networks in text classification. Our focus is on training deep neural networks with proper weight initialization and greedy layer-wise pretraining. Results are compared with 1-layer neural networks and Support Vector Machines. We work with a dataset of labeled messages from the Twitter microblogging service and aim to predict weather conditions. A feature extraction procedure specific for the task is proposed, which applies dimensionality reduction using Latent Semantic Analysis. Our results show that neural networks outperform Support Vector Machines with Gaussian kernels, noticing performance gains from introducing additional hidden layers with nonlinearities. The impact of using Nesterov's Accelerated Gradient in backpropagation is also studied. We conclude that deep neural networks are a reasonable approach for text classification and propose further ideas to improve performance.
With the widespread applications of deep convolutional neural networks (DCNNs), it becomes increasingly important for DCNNs not only to make accurate predictions but also to explain how they make their decisions. In this work, we propose a CHannel-wise disentangled InterPretation (CHIP) model to give the visual interpretation to the predictions of DCNNs. The proposed model distills the class-discriminative importance of channels in networks by utilizing the sparse regularization. Here, we first introduce the network perturbation technique to learn the model. The proposed model is capable to not only distill the global perspective knowledge from networks but also present the class-discriminative visual interpretation for specific predictions of networks. It is noteworthy that the proposed model is able to interpret different layers of networks without re-training. By combining the distilled interpretation knowledge in different layers, we further propose the Refined CHIP visual interpretation that is both high-resolution and class-discriminative. Experimental results on the standard dataset demonstrate that the proposed model provides promising visual interpretation for the predictions of networks in image classification task compared with existing visual interpretation methods. Besides, the proposed method outperforms related approaches in the application of ILSVRC 2015 weakly-supervised localization task.
Deep reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms have shown an impressive ability to learn complex control policies in high-dimensional environments. However, despite the ever-increasing performance on popular benchmarks such as the Arcade Learning Environment (ALE), policies learned by deep RL algorithms often struggle to generalize when evaluated in remarkably similar environments. In this paper, we assess the generalization capabilities of DQN, one of the most traditional deep RL algorithms in the field. We provide evidence suggesting that DQN overspecializes to the training environment. We comprehensively evaluate the impact of traditional regularization methods, $\ell_2$-regularization and dropout, and of reusing the learned representations to improve the generalization capabilities of DQN. We perform this study using different game modes of Atari 2600 games, a recently introduced modification for the ALE which supports slight variations of the Atari 2600 games traditionally used for benchmarking. Despite regularization being largely underutilized in deep RL, we show that it can, in fact, help DQN learn more general features. These features can then be reused and fine-tuned on similar tasks, considerably improving the sample efficiency of DQN.
Transfer learning is one of the subjects undergoing intense study in the area of machine learning. In object recognition and object detection there are known experiments for the transferability of parameters, but not for neural networks which are suitable for object-detection in real time embedded applications, such as the SqueezeDet neural network. We use transfer learning to accelerate the training of SqueezeDet to a new group of classes. Also, experiments are conducted to study the transferability and co-adaptation phenomena introduced by the transfer learning process. To accelerate training, we propose a new implementation of the SqueezeDet training which provides a faster pipeline for data processing and achieves $1.8$ times speedup compared to the initial implementation. Finally, we created a mechanism for automatic hyperparamer optimization using an empirical method.
Asynchronous momentum stochastic gradient descent algorithms (Async-MSGD) is one of the most popular algorithms in distributed machine learning. However, its convergence properties for these complicated nonconvex problems is still largely unknown, because of the current technical limit. Therefore, in this paper, we propose to analyze the algorithm through a simpler but nontrivial nonconvex problem - streaming PCA, which helps us to understand Aync-MSGD better even for more general problems. Specifically, we establish the asymptotic rate of convergence of Async-MSGD for streaming PCA by diffusion approximation. Our results indicate a fundamental tradeoff between asynchrony and momentum: To ensure convergence and acceleration through asynchrony, we have to reduce the momentum (compared with Sync-MSGD). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first theoretical attempt on understanding Async-MSGD for distributed nonconvex stochastic optimization. Numerical experiments on both streaming PCA and training deep neural networks are provided to support our findings for Async-MSGD.
Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) for representation learning of graphs broadly follow a neighborhood aggregation framework, where the representation vector of a node is computed by recursively aggregating and transforming feature vectors of its neighboring nodes. Many GNN variants have been proposed and have achieved state-of-the-art results on both node and graph classification tasks. However, despite GNNs revolutionizing graph representation learning, there is limited understanding of their representational properties and limitations. Here, we present a theoretical framework for analyzing the expressive power of GNNs in capturing different graph structures. Our results characterize the discriminative power of popular GNN variants, such as Graph Convolutional Networks and GraphSAGE, and show that they cannot learn to distinguish certain simple graph structures. We then develop a simple architecture that is provably the most expressive among the class of GNNs and is as powerful as the Weisfeiler-Lehman graph isomorphism test. We empirically validate our theoretical findings on a number of graph classification benchmarks, and demonstrate that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance.
We present the problem of selecting relevant premises for a proof of a given statement. When stated as a binary classification task for pairs (conjecture, axiom), it can be efficiently solved using artificial neural networks. The key difference between our advance to solve this problem and previous approaches is the use of just functional signatures of premises. To further improve the performance of the model, we use dimensionality reduction technique, to replace long and sparse signature vectors with their compact and dense embedded versions. These are obtained by firstly defining the concept of a context for each functor symbol, and then training a simple neural network to predict the distribution of other functor symbols in the context of this functor. After training the network, the output of its hidden layer is used to construct a lower dimensional embedding of a functional signature (for each premise) with a distributed representation of features. This allows us to use 512-dimensional embeddings for conjecture-axiom pairs, containing enough information about the original statements to reach the accuracy of 76.45% in premise selection task, only with simple two-layer densely connected neural networks.
Batch Normalization (BN) is a milestone technique in the development of deep learning, enabling various networks to train. However, normalizing along the batch dimension introduces problems --- BN's error increases rapidly when the batch size becomes smaller, caused by inaccurate batch statistics estimation. This limits BN's usage for training larger models and transferring features to computer vision tasks including detection, segmentation, and video, which require small batches constrained by memory consumption. In this paper, we present Group Normalization (GN) as a simple alternative to BN. GN divides the channels into groups and computes within each group the mean and variance for normalization. GN's computation is independent of batch sizes, and its accuracy is stable in a wide range of batch sizes. On ResNet-50 trained in ImageNet, GN has 10.6% lower error than its BN counterpart when using a batch size of 2; when using typical batch sizes, GN is comparably good with BN and outperforms other normalization variants. Moreover, GN can be naturally transferred from pre-training to fine-tuning. GN can outperform or compete with its BN-based counterparts for object detection and segmentation in COCO, and for video classification in Kinetics, showing that GN can effectively replace the powerful BN in a variety of tasks. GN can be easily implemented by a few lines of code in modern libraries.
Visual Question Answering (VQA) has attracted attention from both computer vision and natural language processing communities. Most existing approaches adopt the pipeline of representing an image via pre-trained CNNs, and then using the uninterpretable CNN features in conjunction with the question to predict the answer. Although such end-to-end models might report promising performance, they rarely provide any insight, apart from the answer, into the VQA process. In this work, we propose to break up the end-to-end VQA into two steps: explaining and reasoning, in an attempt towards a more explainable VQA by shedding light on the intermediate results between these two steps. To that end, we first extract attributes and generate descriptions as explanations for an image using pre-trained attribute detectors and image captioning models, respectively. Next, a reasoning module utilizes these explanations in place of the image to infer an answer to the question. The advantages of such a breakdown include: (1) the attributes and captions can reflect what the system extracts from the image, thus can provide some explanations for the predicted answer; (2) these intermediate results can help us identify the inabilities of both the image understanding part and the answer inference part when the predicted answer is wrong. We conduct extensive experiments on a popular VQA dataset and dissect all results according to several measurements of the explanation quality. Our system achieves comparable performance with the state-of-the-art, yet with added benefits of explainability and the inherent ability to further improve with higher quality explanations.