Complex Dynamics in Simple Neural Networks: Understanding Gradient Flow in Phase Retrieval

Despite the widespread use of gradient-based algorithms for optimizing high-dimensional non-convex functions, understanding their ability of finding good minima instead of being trapped in spurious ones remains to a large extent an open problem. Here we focus on gradient flow dynamics for phase retrieval from random measurements... When the ratio of the number of measurements over the input dimension is small the dynamics remains trapped in spurious minima with large basins of attraction. We find analytically that above a critical ratio those critical points become unstable developing a negative direction toward the signal. By numerical experiments we show that in this regime the gradient flow algorithm is not trapped; it drifts away from the spurious critical points along the unstable direction and succeeds in finding the global minimum. Using tools from statistical physics we characterize this phenomenon, which is related to a BBP-type transition in the Hessian of the spurious minima. read more

PDF Abstract NeurIPS 2020 PDF NeurIPS 2020 Abstract
No code implementations yet. Submit your code now

Tasks


Datasets


  Add Datasets introduced or used in this paper

Results from the Paper


  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.

Methods


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here