On Optimal Early Stopping: Over-informative versus Under-informative Parametrization

20 Feb 2022  ·  Ruoqi Shen, Liyao Gao, Yi-An Ma ·

Early stopping is a simple and widely used method to prevent over-training neural networks. We develop theoretical results to reveal the relationship between the optimal early stopping time and model dimension as well as sample size of the dataset for certain linear models. Our results demonstrate two very different behaviors when the model dimension exceeds the number of features versus the opposite scenario. While most previous works on linear models focus on the latter setting, we observe that the dimension of the model often exceeds the number of features arising from data in common deep learning tasks and propose a model to study this setting. We demonstrate experimentally that our theoretical results on optimal early stopping time corresponds to the training process of deep neural networks.

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