AIMdyn team shows how to measure performance of AI algorithms

NEW preprint out on identifying equivalent optimization of machine learning methods using Koopman operator theory! Done with the fantastic AIMdyn team (William Redman, Dr. Maria Fonoberova, Dr. Ryan Mohr, and Prof. Igor Mezic) and collaborators at Johns Hopkins University (Dr. Juan Bello-Rivas and Prof. Ioannis Kevrekidis), and generously funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

At the core of many machine learning methods resides an iterative optimization algorithm for their training. Such optimization algorithms often come with a plethora of choices regarding their implementation. In the case of deep neural networks, choices of optimizer, learning rate, batch size, etc. must be made. Despite the fundamental way in which these choices impact the training of deep neural networks, there exists no general method for identifying when they lead to equivalent, or non-equivalent, optimization trajectories. By viewing iterative optimization as a discrete-time dynamical system, we are able to leverage Koopman operator theory, where it is known that conjugate dynamics can have identical spectral objects. We find highly overlapping Koopman spectra associated with the application of online mirror and gradient descent to specific problems, illustrating that such a data-driven approach can corroborate the recently discovered analytical equivalence between the two optimizers. We extend our analysis to feedforward, fully connected neural networks, providing the first general characterization of when choices of learning rate, batch size, layer width, data set, and activation function lead to equivalent, and non-equivalent, evolution of network parameters during training. Among our main results, we find that learning rate to batch size ratio, layer width, nature of data set (handwritten vs. synthetic), and activation function affect the nature of conjugacy. Our data-driven approach is general and can be utilized broadly to compare the optimization of machine learning methods.

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