Differentiable Multiple Shooting Layers

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Stefano Massaroli, Michael Poli, Sho Sonoda, Taiji Suzuki, Jinkyoo Park, Atsushi Yamashita, Hajime Asama


We detail a novel class of implicit neural models. Leveraging time-parallel methods for differential equations, Multiple Shooting Layers (MSLs) seek solutions of initial value problems via parallelizable root-finding algorithms. MSLs broadly serve as drop-in replacements for neural ordinary differential equations (Neural ODEs) with improved efficiency in number of function evaluations (NFEs) and wall-clock inference time. We develop the algorithmic framework of MSLs, analyzing the different choices of solution methods from a theoretical and computational perspective. MSLs are showcased in long horizon optimal control of ODEs and PDEs and as latent models for sequence generation. Finally, we investigate the speedups obtained through application of MSL inference in neural controlled differential equations (Neural CDEs) for time series classification of medical data.