A Neural Tangent Kernel Perspective of Infinite Tree Ensembles

09/10/2021 ∙ by Ryuichi Kanoh, et al. ∙ 0

In practical situations, the ensemble tree model is one of the most popular models along with neural networks. A soft tree is one of the variants of a decision tree. Instead of using a greedy method for searching splitting rules, the soft tree is trained using a gradient method in which the whole splitting operation is formulated in a differentiable form. Although ensembles of such soft trees have been increasingly used in recent years, little theoretical work has been done for understanding their behavior. In this paper, by considering an ensemble of infinite soft trees, we introduce and study the Tree Neural Tangent Kernel (TNTK), which provides new insights into the behavior of the infinite ensemble of soft trees. Using the TNTK, we succeed in theoretically finding several non-trivial properties, such as the effect of the oblivious tree structure and the degeneracy of the TNTK induced by the deepening of the trees. Moreover, we empirically examine the performance of an ensemble of infinite soft trees using the TNTK.

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