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Learning compositional functions via multiplicative weight updates
Jeremy Bernstein · Jiawei Zhao · Markus Meister · Ming-Yu Liu · Anima Anandkumar · Yisong Yue

Thu Dec 10 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 5 #1640

Compositionality is a basic structural feature of both biological and artificial neural networks. Learning compositional functions via gradient descent incurs well known problems like vanishing and exploding gradients, making careful learning rate tuning essential for real-world applications. This paper proves that multiplicative weight updates satisfy a descent lemma tailored to compositional functions. Based on this lemma, we derive Madam---a multiplicative version of the Adam optimiser---and show that it can train state of the art neural network architectures without learning rate tuning. We further show that Madam is easily adapted to train natively compressed neural networks by representing their weights in a logarithmic number system. We conclude by drawing connections between multiplicative weight updates and recent findings about synapses in biology.

Author Information

Jeremy Bernstein (Caltech)
Jiawei Zhao (Caltech)
Markus Meister (Caltech)
Ming-Yu Liu (NVIDIA)
Anima Anandkumar (NVIDIA / Caltech)

Anima Anandkumar is a Bren professor at Caltech CMS department and a director of machine learning research at NVIDIA. Her research spans both theoretical and practical aspects of large-scale machine learning. In particular, she has spearheaded research in tensor-algebraic methods, non-convex optimization, probabilistic models and deep learning. Anima is the recipient of several awards and honors such as the Bren named chair professorship at Caltech, Alfred. P. Sloan Fellowship, Young investigator awards from the Air Force and Army research offices, Faculty fellowships from Microsoft, Google and Adobe, and several best paper awards. Anima received her B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT Madras in 2004 and her PhD from Cornell University in 2009. She was a postdoctoral researcher at MIT from 2009 to 2010, a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research New England in 2012 and 2014, an assistant professor at U.C. Irvine between 2010 and 2016, an associate professor at U.C. Irvine between 2016 and 2017 and a principal scientist at Amazon Web Services between 2016 and 2018.

Yisong Yue (Caltech)

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