The Fisher information matrix (FIM) plays an essential role in statistics and machine learning as a Riemannian metric tensor or a component of the Hessian matrix of loss functions. Focusing on the FIM and its variants in deep neural networks (DNNs), we reveal their characteristic scale dependence on the network width, depth, and sample size when the network has random weights and is sufficiently wide. This study covers two widely used FIMs for regression with linear output and for classification with softmax output. Both FIMs asymptotically show pathological eigenvalue spectra in the sense that a small number of eigenvalues become large outliers depending on the width or sample size, while the others are much smaller. It implies that the local shape of the parameter space or loss landscape is very sharp in a few specific directions while almost flat in the other directions. In particular, the softmax output disperses the outliers and makes a tail of the eigenvalue density spread from the bulk. We also show that pathological spectra appear in other variants of FIMs: one is the neural tangent kernel; another is a metric for the input signal and feature space that arises from feedforward signal propagation. Thus, we provide a unified perspective on the FIM and its variants that will lead to more quantitative understanding of learning in large-scale DNNs.
Pathological Spectra of the Fisher Information Metric and Its Variants in Deep Neural Networks
Ryo Karakida, Shotaro Akaho, Shun-ichi Amari; Pathological Spectra of the Fisher Information Metric and Its Variants in Deep Neural Networks. Neural Comput 2021; 33 (8): 2274–2307. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/neco_a_01411
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