Conditioning and Processing: Techniques to Improve Information-Theoretic Generalization Bounds

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Hassan Hafez-Kolahi, Zeinab Golgooni, Shohreh Kasaei, Mahdieh Soleymani


<p>Obtaining generalization bounds for learning algorithms is one of the main subjects studied in theoretical machine learning. In recent years, information-theoretic bounds on generalization have gained the attention of researchers. This approach provides an insight into learning algorithms by considering the mutual information between the model and the training set. In this paper, a probabilistic graphical representation of this approach is adopted and two general techniques to improve the bounds are introduced, namely conditioning and processing. In conditioning, a random variable in the graph is considered as given, while in processing a random variable is substituted with one of its children. These techniques can be used to improve the bounds by either sharpening them or increasing their applicability. It is demonstrated that the proposed framework provides a simple and unified way to explain a variety of recent tightening results. New improved bounds derived by utilizing these techniques are also proposed.</p>