On the Generalization Power of the Overfitted Three-Layer Neural Tangent Kernel Model

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Peizhong Ju, Xiaojun Lin, Ness Shroff


In this paper, we study the generalization performance of overparameterized 3-layer NTK models. We show that, for a specific set of ground-truth functions (which we refer to as the "learnable set"), the test error of the overfitted 3-layer NTK is upper bounded by an expression that decreases with the number of neurons of the two hidden layers. Different from 2-layer NTK where there exists only one hidden-layer, the 3-layer NTK involves interactions between two hidden-layers. Our upper bound reveals that, between the two hidden-layers, the test error descends faster with respect to the number of neurons in the second hidden-layer (the one closer to the output) than with respect to that in the first hidden-layer (the one closer to the input). We also show that the learnable set of 3-layer NTK without bias is no smaller than that of 2-layer NTK models with various choices of bias in the neurons. However, in terms of the actual generalization performance, our results suggest that 3-layer NTK is much less sensitive to the choices of bias than 2-layer NTK, especially when the input dimension is large.