Google Research

Graph-based Discriminators: Sample Complexity and Expressiveness

(2019) (to appear)


A basic question in learning theory is to identify if two distributions are identical when we have access only to examples sampled from the distributions. % This basic task is considered, for example, in the context of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), where a discriminator is trained to distinguish between a real-life distribution and a synthetic distribution. % Classically, we use a hypothesis class $H$ and claim that the two distributions are distinct if for some $h\in H$ the expected value on the two distributions is (significantly) different. %This is the dominant approach used in training distribution discriminators.

Our starting point is the following fundamental problem: "is having the hypothesis dependent on more than a single random example beneficial". To address this challenge we define $k$-ary based discriminators, which have a family of Boolean $k$-ary functions $\G$. Each function $g\in \G$ naturally defines a hyper-graph, indicating whether a given hyper-edge exists. A function $g\in \G$ distinguishes between two distributions, if the expected value of $g$, on a $k$-tuple of i.i.d examples, on the two distributions is (significantly) different.

We study the expressiveness of families of $k$-ary functions, compared to the classical hypothesis class $H$, which is $k=1$. We show a separation in expressiveness of $k+1$-ary versus $k$-ary functions. This demonstrate the great benefit of having $k\geq 2$ as distinguishers.

For $k\geq 2$ we introduce a notion similar to the VC-dimension, and show that it controls the sample complexity. We proceed and provide upper and lower bounds as a function of our extended notion of VC-dimension.

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