Learning Boolean Circuits with Neural Networks

10/25/2019 ∙ by Eran Malach, et al. ∙ 0

Training neural-networks is computationally hard. However, in practice they are trained efficiently using gradient-based algorithms, achieving remarkable performance on natural data. To bridge this gap, we observe the property of local correlation: correlation between small patterns of the input and the target label. We focus on learning deep neural-networks with a variant of gradient-descent, when the target function is a tree-structured Boolean circuit. We show that in this case, the existence of correlation between the gates of the circuit and the target label determines whether the optimization succeeds or fails. Using this result, we show that neural-networks can learn the (log n)-parity problem for most product distributions. These results hint that local correlation may play an important role in differentiating between distributions that are hard or easy to learn.

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