Jump to Content

Amit Daniely

I Completed my Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2015. I then joined Google MTV as a research scientists. In 2017, I moved back to Israel. Now I am assistant professor at he Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and working (part time) as research scientist in Google TLV.
Authored Publications
Google Publications
Other Publications
Sort By
  • Title
  • Title, descending
  • Year
  • Year, descending
    Preview abstract We study a generalization of boosting to the multiclass setting. We introduce a weak learning condition for multiclass classification that captures the original notion of weak learnability as being “slightly better than random guessing”. We give a simple and efficient boosting algorithm, that does not require realizability assumptions and its sample and oracle complexity bounds are independent of the number of classes. Furthermore, we utilize our new boosting technique in two fundamental settings: multiclass PAC learning and List PAC learning, resulting in simplified algorithms compared to previous works. View details
    Preview abstract The amount of training-data is one of the key factors which determines the generalization capacity of learning algorithms. Intuitively, one expects the error rate to decrease as the amount of training-data increases. Perhaps surprisingly, natural attempts to formalize this intuition give rise to interesting and challenging mathematical questions. For example, in their classical book on pattern recognition, Devroye, Gyorfi, and Lugosi (1996) ask whether there exists a monotone Bayes-consistent algorithm. This question remained open for over 25 years, until recently Pestov (2021) resolved it for binary classification, using an intricate construction of a monotone Bayes-consistent algorithm. We derive a general result in multiclass classification, showing that every learning algorithm A can be transformed to a monotone one with similar performance. Further, the transformation is efficient and only uses a black-box oracle access to A. This demonstrates that one can provably avoid non-monotonic behaviour without compromising performance, thus answering questions asked by Devroye, Gyorfi, and Lugosi (1996), Viering, Mey, and Loog (2019), Viering and Loog (2021), and by Mhammedi (2021). Our general transformation readily implies monotone learners in a variety of contexts: for example, Pestov’s result follows by applying it on any Bayes-consistent algorithm (e.g., k-Nearest-Neighbours). In fact, our transformation extends Pestov’s result to classification tasks with an arbitrary number of labels. This is in contrast with Pestov’s work which is tailored to binary classification. In addition, we provide uniform bounds on the error of the monotone algorithm. This makes our transformation applicable in distribution-free settings. For example, in PAC learning it implies that every learnable class admits a monotone PAC learner. This resolves questions asked by Viering, Mey, and Loog (2019); Viering and Loog (2021); Mhammedi (2021). View details
    Preview abstract We consider stochastic optimization with delayed gradients where, at each time step~$t$, the algorithm makes an update using a stale stochastic gradient from step $t - d_t$ for some arbitrary delay $d_t$. This setting abstracts asynchronous distributed optimization where a central server receives gradient updates computed by worker machines. These machines can experience computation and communication loads that might vary significantly over time. In the general non-convex smooth optimization setting, we give a simple and efficient algorithm that requires $O( \sigma^2/\epsilon^4 + \tau/\epsilon^2 )$ steps for finding an $\epsilon$-stationary point $x$, where $\tau$ is the \emph{average} delay $\smash{\frac{1}{T}\sum_{t=1}^T d_t}$ and $\sigma^2$ is the variance of the stochastic gradients. This improves over previous work, which showed that stochastic gradient decent achieves the same rate but with respect to the \emph{maximal} delay $\max_{t} d_t$, that can be significantly larger than the average delay especially in heterogeneous distributed systems. Our experiments demonstrate the efficacy and robustness of our algorithm in cases where the delay distribution is skewed or heavy-tailed. View details
    Preview abstract Complex classifiers may exhibit ``embarassing'' failures in cases that would be easily classified and justified by a human. Avoiding such failures is obviously paramount, particularly in domains where we cannot accept such unexplained behavior. In this work we focus on one such setting, where a label is perfectly predictable if the input contains certain features, and otherwise, it is predictable by a linear classifier. We define a related hypothesis class and determine its sample complexity. We also give evidence that efficient algorithms cannot, unfortunately, enjoy this sample complexity. We then derive a simple and efficient algorithm, and also give evidence that its sample complexity is optimal, among efficient algorithms. Experiments on sentiment analysis demonstrate the efficacy of the method, both in terms of accuracy and interpretability. View details
    Preview abstract We show that the standard stochastic gradient decent (SGD) algorithm is guaranteed to learn, in polynomial time, a function that is competitive with the best function in the conjugate kernel space of the network, as defined in Daniely, Frostig and Singer. The result holds for log-depth networks from a rich family of architectures. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first polynomial-time guarantee for the standard neural network learning algorithm for networks of depth more that two. As corollaries, it follows that for neural networks of any depth between 2 and log(n), SGD is guaranteed to learn, in polynomial time, constant degree polynomials with polynomially bounded coefficients. Likewise, it follows that SGD on large enough networks can learn any continuous function (not in polynomial time), complementing classical expressivity results. View details
    Preview abstract We describe and analyze a simple random feature scheme (RFS) from prescribed compositional kernels. The compositional kernels we use are inspired by the structure of convolutional neural networks and kernels. The resulting scheme yields sparse and efficiently computable features. Each random feature can be represented as an algebraic expression over a small number of (random) paths in a composition tree. Thus, compositional random features can be stored compactly. The discrete nature of the generation process enables de-duplication of repeated features, further compacting the representation and increasing the diversity of the embeddings. Our approach complements and can be combined with previous random feature schemes. View details
    Preview abstract Data-independent methods for dimensionality reduction such as random projections, sketches, and feature hashing have become increasingly popular in recent years. These methods often seek to reduce dimensionality while preserving the hypothesis class, resulting in inherent lower bounds on the size of projected data. For example, preserving linear separability requires Ω(1/γ2 ) dimensions, where γ is the margin, and in the case of polynomial functions, the number of required dimensions has an exponential dependence on the polynomial degree. Despite these limitations, we show that the dimensionality can be reduced further while maintaining performance guarantees, using improper learning with a slightly larger hypothesis class. In particular, we show that any sparse polynomial function of a sparse binary vector can be computed from a compact sketch by a single-layer neural network, where the sketch size has a logarithmic dependence on the polynomial degree. A practical consequence is that networks trained on sketched data are compact, and therefore suitable for settings with memory and power constraints. We empirically show that our approach leads to networks with fewer parameters than related methods such as feature hashing, at equal or better performance. View details
    Preview abstract We develop a general duality between neural networks and compositional kernels, striving towards a better understanding of deep learning. We show that initial representations generated by common random initializations are sufficiently rich to express all functions in the dual kernel space. Hence, though the training objective is hard to optimize in the worst case, the initial weights form a good starting point for optimization. Our dual view also reveals a pragmatic and aesthetic perspective of neural networks and underscores their expressive power. View details
    No Results Found