Learning Invariances in Neural Networks from Training Data

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Gregory Benton, Marc Finzi, Pavel Izmailov, Andrew G. Wilson


<p>Invariances to translations have imbued convolutional neural networks with powerful generalization properties. However, we often do not know a priori what invariances are present in the data, or to what extent a model should be invariant to a given augmentation. We show how to learn invariances by parameterizing a distribution over augmentations and optimizing the training loss simultaneously with respect to the network parameters and augmentation parameters. With this simple procedure we can recover the correct set and extent of invariances on image classification, regression, segmentation, and molecular property prediction from a large space of augmentations, on training data alone. We show our approach is competitive with methods that are specialized to each task with the appropriate hard-coded invariances, without providing any prior knowledge of which invariance is needed. </p>