Wide Feedforward or Recurrent Neural Networks of Any Architecture are Gaussian Processes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

AuthorFeedback Bibtex MetaReview Metadata Paper Reviews


Greg Yang


Wide neural networks with random weights and biases are Gaussian processes, as observed by Neal (1995) for shallow networks, and more recently by Lee et al.~(2018) and Matthews et al.~(2018) for deep fully-connected networks, as well as by Novak et al.~(2019) and Garriga-Alonso et al.~(2019) for deep convolutional networks. We show that this Neural Network-Gaussian Process correspondence surprisingly extends to all modern feedforward or recurrent neural networks composed of multilayer perceptron, RNNs (e.g. LSTMs, GRUs), (nD or graph) convolution, pooling, skip connection, attention, batch normalization, and/or layer normalization. More generally, we introduce a language for expressing neural network computations, and our result encompasses all such expressible neural networks. This work serves as a tutorial on the \emph{tensor programs} technique formulated in Yang (2019) and elucidates the Gaussian Process results obtained there. We provide open-source implementations of the Gaussian Process kernels of simple RNN, GRU, transformer, and batchnorm+ReLU network at github.com/thegregyang/GP4A. Please see our arxiv version for the complete and up-to-date version of this paper.