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Efficient Second-Order Stochastic Methods for Machine Learning
Donald Goldfarb

Our talk focuses on training Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), which due to the enormous number of parameters current DNNs have, using the Hessian matrix or a full approximation to it in a second-order method is prohibitive, both in terms of memory requirements and computational cost per iteration. Hence, to be practical, layer-wise block-diagonal approximations to these matrices are usually used. Here we describe second-order quasi-Newton (QN), natural gradient (NG), and generalized Gauss-Newton (GGN) methods of this type that are competitive with and often outperform first-order methods. These methods include those that use layer-wise (i) Kronecker-factored BFGS and L-BFGS QN approximations, (ii) tensor normal covariance and (iii) mini-block Fisher matrix approximations, and (iv) Sherman-Morrison-Woodbury based variants of NG and GGN methods.

Author Information

Donald Goldfarb (Columbia University)

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