Generalization error in high-dimensional perceptrons: Approaching Bayes error with convex optimization

06/11/2020 ∙ by Benjamin Aubin, et al. ∙ 9

We consider a commonly studied supervised classification of a synthetic dataset whose labels are generated by feeding a one-layer neural network with random iid inputs. We study the generalization performances of standard classifiers in the high-dimensional regime where α=n/d is kept finite in the limit of a high dimension d and number of samples n. Our contribution is three-fold: First, we prove a formula for the generalization error achieved by ℓ_2 regularized classifiers that minimize a convex loss. This formula was first obtained by the heuristic replica method of statistical physics. Secondly, focussing on commonly used loss functions and optimizing the ℓ_2 regularization strength, we observe that while ridge regression performance is poor, logistic and hinge regression are surprisingly able to approach the Bayes-optimal generalization error extremely closely. As α→∞ they lead to Bayes-optimal rates, a fact that does not follow from predictions of margin-based generalization error bounds. Third, we design an optimal loss and regularizer that provably leads to Bayes-optimal generalization error.

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