Dropout-based regularization methods can be regarded as injecting random noise with pre-defined magnitude to different parts of the neural network during training. It was recently shown that Bayesian dropout procedure not only improves generalization but also leads to extremely sparse neural architectures by automatically setting the individual noise magnitude per weight. However, this sparsity can hardly be used for acceleration since it is unstructured. In the paper, we propose a new Bayesian model that takes into account the computational structure of neural networks and provides structured sparsity, e.g. removes neurons and/or convolutional channels in CNNs. To do this we inject noise to the neurons outputs while keeping the weights unregularized. We establish the probabilistic model with a proper truncated log-uniform prior over the noise and truncated log-normal variational approximation that ensures that the KL-term in the evidence lower bound is computed in closed-form. The model leads to structured sparsity by removing elements with a low SNR from the computation graph and provides significant acceleration on a number of deep neural architectures. The model is very easy to implement as it only corresponds to the addition of one dropout-like layer in computation graph.
We explore a recently proposed Variational Dropout technique that provided an elegant Bayesian interpretation to Gaussian Dropout. We extend Variational Dropout to the case when dropout rates are unbounded, propose a way to reduce the variance of the gradient estimator and report first experimental results with individual dropout rates per weight. Interestingly, it leads to extremely sparse solutions both in fully-connected and convolutional layers. This effect is similar to automatic relevance determination effect in empirical Bayes but has a number of advantages. We reduce the number of parameters up to 280 times on LeNet architectures and up to 68 times on VGG-like networks with a negligible decrease of accuracy.
Variational autoencoder (VAE) is a probabilistic unsupervised method that uses deep learning. We propose a robust approach to the training of VAE using a modified likelihood function. We propose and analyze two variational lower bound objectives. The effectiveness of the method is experimentally shown by artificially introducing noise objects.