Mean Field Limit of the Learning Dynamics of Multilayer Neural Networks

Phan-Minh Nguyen

Can multilayer neural networks -- typically constructed as highly complex structures with many nonlinearly activated neurons across layers -- behave in a non-trivial way that yet simplifies away a major part of their complexities? In this work, we uncover a phenomenon in which the behavior of these complex networks -- under suitable scalings and stochastic gradient descent dynamics -- becomes independent of the number of neurons as this number grows sufficiently large. We develop a formalism in which this many-neurons limiting behavior is captured by a set of equations, thereby exposing a previously unknown operating regime of these networks. While the current pursuit is mathematically non-rigorous, it is complemented with several experiments that validate the existence of this behavior.

Knowledge Graph



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