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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  2. Recent work has highlighted the role of initialization scale in determining the structure of the solutions that gradient methods converge to. In particular, it was shown that large initialization leads to the neural tangent kernel regime solution, whereas small initialization leads to so called “rich regimes”. However, the initialization structure is richer than the overall scale alone and involves relative magnitudes of different weights and layers in the network. Here we show that these relative scales, which we refer to as initialization shape, play an important role in determining the learned model. We develop a novel technique for deriving the inductive bias of gradientflow and use it to obtain closed-form implicit regularizers for multiple cases of interest.
  3. We present a direct (primal only) derivation of Mirror Descent as a “partial” discretization of gradient flow on a Riemannian manifold where the metric tensor is the Hessian of the Mirror Descent potential function. We contrast this discretization to Natural Gradient Descent, which is obtained by a “full” forward Euler discretization. This view helps shed light on the relationship between the methods and allows generalizing Mirror Descent to any Riemannian geometry in Rd, even when the metric tensor is not a Hessian, and thus there is no “dual.”
  4. We provide a detailed asymptotic study of gradient flow trajectories and their implicit optimization bias when minimizing the exponential loss over "diagonal linear networks". This is the simplest model displaying a transition between "kernel" and non-kernel ("rich" or "active") regimes. We show how the transition is controlled by the relationship between the initialization scale and how accurately we minimize the training loss. Our results indicate that some limit behaviors of gradient descent only kick in at ridiculous training accuracies (well beyond 10−100). Moreover, the implicit bias at reasonable initialization scales and training accuracies is more complex and not captured by these limits.