[link]
## Summary The broad goal of this paper is to understand how a neural network learns the underlying distribution of the input data and the properties of the network that describes its generalization power. Previous literature tries to use statistical measures like Rademacher complexity, uniform stability and VC dimension to explain the generalization error of the model. These methods explain generalization in terms of the number of parameters in the model along with the applied regularization. The experiments performed in the [Section 2] of the paper show that the learning capacity of a CNN cannot be sufficiently explained by traditional statistical learning theory. Even the effect of different regularization strategies in CNN is shown to be potentially unrelated to the generalization error, which contradicts the theory behind VC dimension. The experiments of the paper show that the model is able to learn some underlying patterns for random labels and input with different amounts of gaussian noise. When the authors gradually increase the noise in the inputs the generalization error gradually increases while the training error is still able to reach zero. The authors have concluded that big networks are able to completely memorise the complete dataset. ## Personal Thoughts 1) Firstly we need a new theory to explain why and how CNN memorizes the inputs and generalizes itself to new data. Since the paper shows that regularization doesn't have too much effect on the generalization for big networks, maybe the network is actually memorizing the whole input space. But the memorization is very strategic in the sense that only the inputs (eg. noise) where no underlying simple features are found, are completely memorized unlike inputs with a stronger signal where patterns can be found. This may explain the discrepancy in number of training steps between ‘true labels’ and noisy inputs in [Figure 1 a.]. My very general understanding of Information Bottleneck Hypothesis [4] is that networks compresses noisy input data as much as possible while preserving important information. For a network more time is taken to compress noise compared to strong signals in images. This may give some intuision behind the learning process taking place. 2) CNN is highly nonlinear with millions of parameters and has a very complex loss landscape. There might be multiple minima and we need a theory to explain which of these minima gives the highest generalization. Unfortunately the working of SGD is still a black box and is very difficult to characterize. There are many interesting phenomena like adversarial attacks, effect of optimizer used on the weights found (Daniel Jiwoong et al., 2016) and the actual understanding of nonlinearity in CNN (Ian J. Goodfellow et al., 2015) that all point to lapses in our overall understanding of very high dimensional manifolds. This requires rigorous experimentation to study and understand the effect of the network architecture, optimizer and the actual input (Nitish Shirish et al.,2017) to the network independently on generalization. ## References 1. Im, Daniel Jiwoong et al. “An empirical analysis of the optimization of deep network loss surfaces.” arXiv: Learning (2016): n. pag. 2. Goodfellow, Ian J. and Oriol Vinyals. “Qualitatively characterizing neural network optimization problems.” CoRR abs/1412.6544 (2015): n. pag. 3. Keskar, Nitish Shirish et al. “On LargeBatch Training for Deep Learning: Generalization Gap and Sharp Minima.” ArXiv abs/1609.04836 (2017): n. pag. 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XL07WEc2TRI
Your comment:
