Gradient descent in Gaussian random fields as a toy model for high-dimensional optimisation in deep learning

03/24/2018 ∙ by Mariano Chouza, et al. ∙ 0

In this paper we model the loss function of high-dimensional optimization problems by a Gaussian random field, or equivalently a Gaussian process. Our aim is to study gradient descent in such loss functions or energy landscapes and compare it to results obtained from real high-dimensional optimization problems such as encountered in deep learning. In particular, we analyze the distribution of the improved loss function after a step of gradient descent, provide analytic expressions for the moments as well as prove asymptotic normality as the dimension of the parameter space becomes large. Moreover, we compare this with the expectation of the global minimum of the landscape obtained by means of the Euler characteristic of excursion sets. Besides complementing our analytical findings with numerical results from simulated Gaussian random fields, we also compare it to loss functions obtained from optimisation problems on synthetic and real data sets by proposing a "black box" random field toy-model for a deep neural network loss function.



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