Stochastic Neural Networks with Infinite Width are Deterministic

30 Jan 2022  ·  Liu Ziyin, HANLIN ZHANG, Xiangming Meng, Yuting Lu, Eric Xing, Masahito Ueda ·

This work theoretically studies stochastic neural networks, a main type of neural network in use. We prove that as the width of an optimized stochastic neural network tends to infinity, its predictive variance on the training set decreases to zero. Our theory justifies the common intuition that adding stochasticity to the model can help regularize the model by introducing an averaging effect. Two common examples that our theory can be relevant to are neural networks with dropout and Bayesian latent variable models in a special limit. Our result thus helps better understand how stochasticity affects the learning of neural networks and potentially design better architectures for practical problems.

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