On the Provable Generalization of Recurrent Neural Networks

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Lifu Wang, Bo Shen, Bo Hu, Xing Cao


Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) is a fundamental structure in deep learning. Recently, some works study the training process of over-parameterized neural networks, and show that over-parameterized networks can learn functions in some notable concept classes with a provable generalization error bound. In this paper, we analyze the training and generalization for RNNs with random initialization, and provide the following improvements over recent works:(1) For a RNN with input sequence $x=(X_1,X_2,...,X_L)$, previous works study to learn functions that are summation of $f(\beta^T_lX_l)$ and require normalized conditions that $||X_l||\leq\epsilon$ with some very small $\epsilon$ depending on the complexity of $f$. In this paper, using detailed analysis about the neural tangent kernel matrix, we prove a generalization error bound to learn such functions without normalized conditions and show that some notable concept classes are learnable with the numbers of iterations and samples scaling almost-polynomially in the input length $L$.(2) Moreover, we prove a novel result to learn N-variables functions of input sequence with the form $f(\beta^T[X_{l_1},...,X_{l_N}])$, which do not belong to the ``additive'' concept class, i,e., the summation of function $f(X_l)$. And we show that when either $N$ or $l_0=\max(l_1,..,l_N)-\min(l_1,..,l_N)$ is small, $f(\beta^T[X_{l_1},...,X_{l_N}])$ will be learnable with the number iterations and samples scaling almost-polynomially in the input length $L$.