## Orals & Spotlights Track 28: Deep Learning

Each Oral includes Q&ASpotlights have joint Q&As

### Time

2020-12-10T06:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T09:00:00-08:00### Session chairs

Oriol Vinyals, Guido Montufar### Video

### Chat

### Chat is not available.

### Schedule

2020-12-10T06:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T06:15:00-08:00

##### 1 - Oral: A shooting formulation of deep learning

François-Xavier Vialard, Roland Kwitt, Susan Wei, Marc Niethammer

A residual network may be regarded as a discretization of an ordinary differential equation (ODE) which, in the limit of time discretization, defines a continuous-depth network. Although important steps have been taken to realize the advantages of such continuous formulations, most current techniques assume identical layers. Indeed, existing works throw into relief the myriad difficulties of learning an infinite-dimensional parameter in a continuous-depth neural network. To this end, we introduce a shooting formulation which shifts the perspective from parameterizing a network layer-by-layer to parameterizing over optimal networks described only by a set of initial conditions. For scalability, we propose a novel particle-ensemble parameterization which fully specifies the optimal weight trajectory of the continuous-depth neural network. Our experiments show that our particle-ensemble shooting formulation can achieve competitive performance. Finally, though the current work is inspired by continuous-depth neural networks, the particle-ensemble shooting formulation also applies to discrete-time networks and may lead to a new fertile area of research in deep learning parameterization.

2020-12-10T06:15:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T06:30:00-08:00

##### 2 - Oral: On the training dynamics of deep networks with $L_2$ regularization

Aitor Lewkowycz, Guy Gur-Ari

We study the role of $L_2$ regularization in deep learning, and uncover simple relations between the performance of the model, the $L_2$ coefficient, the learning rate, and the number of training steps. These empirical relations hold when the network is overparameterized. They can be used to predict the optimal regularization parameter of a given model. In addition, based on these observations we propose a dynamical schedule for the regularization parameter that improves performance and speeds up training. We test these proposals in modern image classification settings. Finally, we show that these empirical relations can be understood theoretically in the context of infinitely wide networks. We derive the gradient flow dynamics of such networks, and compare the role of $L_2$ regularization in this context with that of linear models.

2020-12-10T06:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T06:45:00-08:00

##### 3 - Oral: Compositional Explanations of Neurons

Jesse Mu, Jacob Andreas

We describe a procedure for explaining neurons in deep representations by identifying compositional logical concepts that closely approximate neuron behavior. Compared to prior work that uses atomic labels as explanations, analyzing neurons compositionally allows us to more precisely and expressively characterize their behavior. We use this procedure to answer several questions on interpretability in models for vision and natural language processing. First, we examine the kinds of abstractions learned by neurons. In image classification, we find that many neurons learn highly abstract but semantically coherent visual concepts, while other polysemantic neurons detect multiple unrelated features; in natural language inference (NLI), neurons learn shallow lexical heuristics from dataset biases. Second, we see whether compositional explanations give us insight into model performance: vision neurons that detect human-interpretable concepts are positively correlated with task performance, while NLI neurons that fire for shallow heuristics are negatively correlated with task performance. Finally, we show how compositional explanations provide an accessible way for end users to produce simple "copy-paste" adversarial examples that change model behavior in predictable ways.

2020-12-10T06:45:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T07:00:00-08:00

##### Break

2020-12-10T07:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T07:10:00-08:00

##### 5 - Spotlight: Simplifying Hamiltonian and Lagrangian Neural Networks via Explicit Constraints

Marc Finzi, Alex Wang, Andrew Wilson

Reasoning about the physical world requires models that are endowed with the right inductive biases to learn the underlying dynamics. Recent works improve generalization for predicting trajectories by learning the Hamiltonian or Lagrangian of a system rather than the differential equations directly. While these methods encode the constraints of the systems using generalized coordinates, we show that embedding the system into Cartesian coordinates and enforcing the constraints explicitly with Lagrange multipliers dramatically simplifies the learning problem. We introduce a series of challenging chaotic and extended-body systems, including systems with $N$-pendulums, spring coupling, magnetic fields, rigid rotors, and gyroscopes, to push the limits of current approaches. Our experiments show that Cartesian coordinates with explicit constraints lead to a 100x improvement in accuracy and data efficiency.

2020-12-10T07:10:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T07:20:00-08:00

##### 6 - Spotlight: On Power Laws in Deep Ensembles

Ekaterina Lobacheva, Nadezhda Chirkova, Maxim Kodryan, Dmitry Vetrov

Ensembles of deep neural networks are known to achieve state-of-the-art performance in uncertainty estimation and lead to accuracy improvement. In this work, we focus on a classification problem and investigate the behavior of both non-calibrated and calibrated negative log-likelihood (CNLL) of a deep ensemble as a function of the ensemble size and the member network size. We indicate the conditions under which CNLL follows a power law w. r. t. ensemble size or member network size, and analyze the dynamics of the parameters of the discovered power laws. Our important practical finding is that one large network may perform worse than an ensemble of several medium-size networks with the same total number of parameters (we call this ensemble a memory split). Using the detected power law-like dependencies, we can predict (1) the possible gain from the ensembling of networks with given structure, (2) the optimal memory split given a memory budget, based on a relatively small number of trained networks.

2020-12-10T07:20:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T07:30:00-08:00

##### 7 - Spotlight: Learning the Geometry of Wave-Based Imaging

Konik Kothari, Maarten de Hoop, Ivan Dokmanić

We propose a general physics-based deep learning architecture for wave-based imaging problems. A key difficulty in imaging problems with a varying background wave speed is that the medium ``bends'' the waves differently depending on their position and direction. This space-bending geometry makes the equivariance to translations of convolutional networks an undesired inductive bias. We build an interpretable neural architecture inspired by Fourier integral operators (FIOs) which approximate the wave physics. FIOs model a wide range of imaging modalities, from seismology and radar to Doppler and ultrasound. We focus on learning the geometry of wave propagation captured by FIOs, which is implicit in the data, via a loss based on optimal transport. The proposed FIONet performs significantly better than the usual baselines on a number of imaging inverse problems, especially in out-of-distribution tests.

2020-12-10T07:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T07:40:00-08:00

##### 8 - Spotlight: The Surprising Simplicity of the Early-Time Learning Dynamics of Neural Networks

Wei Hu, Lechao Xiao, Ben Adlam, Jeffrey Pennington

Modern neural networks are often regarded as complex black-box functions whose behavior is difficult to understand owing to their nonlinear dependence on the data and the nonconvexity in their loss landscapes. In this work, we show that these common perceptions can be completely false in the early phase of learning. In particular, we formally prove that, for a class of well-behaved input distributions, the early-time learning dynamics of a two-layer fully-connected neural network can be mimicked by training a simple linear model on the inputs. We additionally argue that this surprising simplicity can persist in networks with more layers and with convolutional architecture, which we verify empirically. Key to our analysis is to bound the spectral norm of the difference between the Neural Tangent Kernel (NTK) and an affine transform of the data kernel; however, unlike many previous results utilizing the NTK, we do not require the network to have disproportionately large width, and the network is allowed to escape the kernel regime later in training.

2020-12-10T07:40:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T07:50:00-08:00

##### Q&A: Joint Q&A for Preceeding Spotlights

2020-12-10T07:50:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T08:00:00-08:00

##### 10 - Spotlight: Sparse and Continuous Attention Mechanisms

André Martins, António Farinhas, Marcos Treviso, Vlad Niculae, Pedro Aguiar, Mario Figueiredo

Exponential families are widely used in machine learning; they include many distributions in continuous and discrete domains (e.g., Gaussian, Dirichlet, Poisson, and categorical distributions via the softmax transformation). Distributions in each of these families have fixed support. In contrast, for finite domains, there has been recent work on sparse alternatives to softmax (e.g., sparsemax and alpha-entmax), which have varying support, being able to assign zero probability to irrelevant categories. These discrete sparse mappings have been used for improving interpretability of neural attention mechanisms. This paper expands that work in two directions: first, we extend alpha-entmax to continuous domains, revealing a link with Tsallis statistics and deformed exponential families. Second, we introduce continuous-domain attention mechanisms, deriving efficient gradient backpropagation algorithms for alpha in {1,2}. Experiments on attention-based text classification, machine translation, and visual question answering illustrate the use of continuous attention in 1D and 2D, showing that it allows attending to time intervals and compact regions.

2020-12-10T08:00:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T08:10:00-08:00

##### 11 - Spotlight: Temporal Spike Sequence Learning via Backpropagation for Deep Spiking Neural Networks

Wenrui Zhang, Peng Li

Spiking neural networks (SNNs) are well suited for spatio-temporal learning and implementations on energy-efficient event-driven neuromorphic processors. However, existing SNN error backpropagation (BP) methods lack proper handling of spiking discontinuities and suffer from low performance compared with the BP methods for traditional artificial neural networks. In addition, a large number of time steps are typically required to achieve decent performance, leading to high latency and rendering spike-based computation unscalable to deep architectures. We present a novel Temporal Spike Sequence Learning Backpropagation (TSSL-BP) method for training deep SNNs, which breaks down error backpropagation across two types of inter-neuron and intra-neuron dependencies and leads to improved temporal learning precision. It captures inter-neuron dependencies through presynaptic firing times by considering the all-or-none characteristics of firing activities and captures intra-neuron dependencies by handling the internal evolution of each neuronal state in time. TSSL-BP efficiently trains deep SNNs within a much shortened temporal window of a few steps while improving the accuracy for various image classification datasets including CIFAR10.

2020-12-10T08:10:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T08:20:00-08:00

##### 12 - Spotlight: Directional convergence and alignment in deep learning

Ziwei Ji, Matus Telgarsky

In this paper, we show that although the minimizers of cross-entropy and related classification losses are off at infinity, network weights learned by gradient flow converge in direction, with an immediate corollary that network predictions, training errors, and the margin distribution also converge. This proof holds for deep homogeneous networks — a broad class of networks allowing for ReLU, max-pooling, linear, and convolutional layers — and we additionally provide empirical support not just close to the theory (e.g., the AlexNet), but also on non-homogeneous networks (e.g., the DenseNet). If the network further has locally Lipschitz gradients, we show that these gradients also converge in direction, and asymptotically align with the gradient flow path, with consequences on margin maximization, convergence of saliency maps, and a few other settings. Our analysis complements and is distinct from the well-known neural tangent and mean-field theories, and in particular makes no requirements on network width and initialization, instead merely requiring perfect classification accuracy. The proof proceeds by developing a theory of unbounded nonsmooth Kurdyka-Łojasiewicz inequalities for functions definable in an o-minimal structure, and is also applicable outside deep learning.

2020-12-10T08:20:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T08:30:00-08:00

##### 13 - Spotlight: Neural Controlled Differential Equations for Irregular Time Series

Patrick Kidger, James Morrill, James Foster, Terry Lyons

Neural ordinary differential equations are an attractive option for modelling temporal dynamics. However, a fundamental issue is that the solution to an ordinary differential equation is determined by its initial condition, and there is no mechanism for adjusting the trajectory based on subsequent observations. Here, we demonstrate how this may be resolved through the well-understood mathematics of \emph{controlled differential equations}. The resulting \emph{neural controlled differential equation} model is directly applicable to the general setting of partially-observed irregularly-sampled multivariate time series, and (unlike previous work on this problem) it may utilise memory-efficient adjoint-based backpropagation even across observations. We demonstrate that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance against similar (ODE or RNN based) models in empirical studies on a range of datasets. Finally we provide theoretical results demonstrating universal approximation, and that our model subsumes alternative ODE models.

2020-12-10T08:30:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T08:40:00-08:00

##### Q&A: Joint Q&A for Preceeding Spotlights

2020-12-10T08:40:00-08:00 - 2020-12-10T09:00:00-08:00