September 5, 2022 to December 9, 2022
Europe/Paris timezone
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Adeline Fermanian- Scaling ResNets in the Large-depth Regime

Oct 3, 2022, 3:00 PM
Amphitheater Hermite, IHP

Amphitheater Hermite, IHP


Deep ResNets are recognized for achieving state-of-the-art results in complex machine learning tasks. However, the remarkable performance of these architectures relies on a training procedure that needs to be carefully crafted to avoid vanishing or exploding gradients, particularly as the depth L increases. No consensus has been reached on how to mitigate this issue, although a widely discussed strategy consists in scaling the output of each layer by a factor \alpha_L. We show in a probabilistic setting that with standard i.i.d. initializations, the only non-trivial dynamics is for \alpha_L = 1/ \sqrt{L} (other choices lead either to explosion or to identity mapping). This scaling factor corresponds in the continuous-time limit to a neural stochastic differential equation, contrarily to a widespread interpretation that deep ResNets are discretizations of neural ordinary differential equations. By contrast, in the latter regime, stability is obtained with specific correlated initializations and \alpha_L=1/L. Our analysis suggests a strong interplay between scaling and regularity of the weights as a function of the layer index. Finally, in a series of experiments, we exhibit a continuous range of regimes driven by these two parameters, which jointly impact performance before and after training.

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