Keywords: [ Data Augmentation ] [ coresets ] [ Deep Learning ]
Data augmentation is essential to achieve state-of-the-art performance in many deep learning applications. However, the most effective augmentation techniques become computationally prohibitive for even medium-sized datasets. To address this, we propose a rigorous technique to select subsets of data points that when augmented, closely capture the training dynamics of full data augmentation. We first show that data augmentation, modeled as additive perturbations, improves learning and generalization by relatively enlarging and perturbing the smaller singular values of the network Jacobian, while preserving its prominent directions. This prevents overfitting and enhances learning the harder to learn information. Then, we propose a framework to iteratively extract small subsets of training data that when augmented, closely capture the alignment of the fully augmented Jacobian with labels/residuals. We prove that stochastic gradient descent applied to the augmented subsets found by our approach has similar training dynamics to that of fully augmented data. Our experiments demonstrate that our method achieves 6.3x speedup on CIFAR10 and 2.2x speedup on SVHN, and outperforms the baselines by up to 10\% across various subset sizes. Similarly, on TinyImageNet and ImageNet, our method beats the baselines by up to 8%, while achieving up to 3.3x speedup across various subset sizes. Finally, training on and augmenting 50% subsets using our method on a version of CIFAR10 corrupted with label noise even outperforms using the full dataset.