On Information Plane Analyses of Neural Network Classifiers -- A Review

21 Mar 2020  ·  Bernhard C. Geiger ·

We review the current literature concerned with information plane analyses of neural network classifiers. While the underlying information bottleneck theory and the claim that information-theoretic compression is causally linked to generalization are plausible, empirical evidence was found to be both supporting and conflicting. We review this evidence together with a detailed analysis of how the respective information quantities were estimated. Our survey suggests that compression visualized in information planes is not necessarily information-theoretic, but is rather often compatible with geometric compression of the latent representations. This insight gives the information plane a renewed justification. Aside from this, we shed light on the problem of estimating mutual information in deterministic neural networks and its consequences. Specifically, we argue that even in feed-forward neural networks the data processing inequality need not hold for estimates of mutual information. Similarly, while a fitting phase, in which the mutual information between the latent representation and the target increases, is necessary (but not sufficient) for good classification performance, depending on the specifics of mutual information estimation such a fitting phase need not be visible in the information plane.

PDF Abstract


  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.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here