Backpropagation
Instructions:
 Add a member variable named "blame" to your abstract "Layer" class that stores a vector of blame terms.
Also, add abstract methods named "backprop", and "update_gradient" as shown in the examples below.
C++ example:
class Layer
{
Vec activation;
Vec blame;
public:
Layer(size_t inputs, size_t outputs) :
activation(outputs),
blame(outputs)
{
}
virtual ~Layer()
{
}
virtual void activate(const Vec& weights, const Vec& x) = 0;
virtual void backprop(const Vec& weights, Vec& prevBlame) = 0;
virtual void update_gradient(const Vec& x, Vec& gradient) = 0;
};
Java example:
abstract class Layer
{
protected Vec activation;
protected Vec blame;
Layer(int inputs, int outputs)
{
activation = new Vec(outputs);
blame = new Vec(outputs);
}
abstract void activate(Vec weights, Vec x);
abstract void backprop(Vec weights, Vec prevBlame);
abstract void updateGradient(Vec x, Vec gradient);
}
 Implement the backprop method in your "LayerLinear" class to compute prevBlame = M^{T} * blame.
 Implement the updateGradient method in your "LayerLinear" class to do:
g_{b} += blame
g_{M} += blame * x
where "*" means outer product, x is the input vector (or activation of the previous layer), g_{b} is the part of the gradient vector that will be used to update the bias terms, b, and g_{M} is the part of the gradient vector that will be used to update the weights between units, M.
(Note that when you do stochastic gradient descent, you will need to fill your gradient vector with zeros before calling updateGradient. When you implement batch gradient descent, in future assignments, you will use it to accumulate the gradients from all of the patters in the batch.)
 Update your "NeuralNet.predict" method to call "activate" for each layer, passing the relevant portion of the "weights" vector, and feeding the activation of each layer into the next one.
It should return the activation of the final layer.
(Section 4.3 of the book talks about this.)
 Add a method to your "NeuralNet" class named "backProp", which accepts a vector of weights and a vector of target values.
It should compute the blame for the output layer as blame = target  activation.
Then, it should call "backprop" on each layer, except the first layer, in reverse order, to compute the blame for the preceding layer.
 Add a method to your "NeuralNet" class named "updateGradient", which calls "updateGradient" in each layer to compute a big gradient vector for the whole neural network.
 Brush up on finite differencing.
Add a method to your NeuralNet class that uses the central difference method to compute its gradient for a given vector, x.
Add a unit test that generates random weights and a random input vector, then computes the gradient using both methods, and compares them to make sure they are nearly equal.
 Add a method to your NeuralNet class named "initWeights" that initializes the weights for each layer with max(0.03, 1.0 / layer.inputCount()) * rand.normal().
(The C++ starter kit contains a Random class that can draw values from a Normal distribution. Java has a builtin Random class with a method named nextGaussian.)
Unless you have a good reason, there should only ever be ONE random number generator instance in any program.
NEVER instantiate a new random number generator in the place where you need the random number.
 Add a method to your NeuralNet named "refineWeights" that accepts three vectors (x, y, and weights) and a scalar (learning_rate).
This method should use backpropagation to compute the gradient, then update the weights like this:
weights += learning_rate * gradient.
 Test your "refineWeights" method by making a NeuralNet with just one linear layer.
Initialize the weights.
Randomly draw patterns from some dataset, and call refineWeights with a small learning_rate, like 0.001.
After many iterations of refinement, it should converge to the same weights as your implementation of Ordinary Least Squares.
 Add a new class named LayerTanh.
This layer will always output the same number of values as are fed into it as inputs, so its constructor should require only one parameter value.
Implement the "activate" method by computing activation[i] = tanh(x[i]) for each i.
Implement the "backprop" method to compute the derivative of tanh, prevBlame[i] = blame[i] * (1.0  (activation[i] * activation[i])) for each i.
This layer has no weights, so the updateGradient methods should do nothing.
Test that a neural network containing both linear layers and tanh layers still passes your finite differencing test.
 The table on this page shows some other common nonlinearities (including tanh) used with neural networks.
Implement and test a layer for "leaky rectifier" too.
 Train an MLP to classify the MNIST dataset.
(You will need to scale the features to fall between 0 and 1 by dividing them by 256.0.)
Train your neural network until you achieve fewer than 350/10000 misclassifications on the test set (while training only on the training set).
Report the number of misclassifications at periodic intervals, like this:
9243
622
509
422
406
430
337
Here is the topology I used to achieve those misclassifications:
0) [LayerLinear: 784>80, Weights=62800]
1) [LayerTanh: 80>80, Weights=0]
2) [LayerLinear: 80>30, Weights=2430]
3) [LayerTanh: 30>30, Weights=0]
4) [LayerLinear: 30>10, Weights=310]
5) [LayerTanh: 10>10, Weights=0]
 Zip up your source code. Don't include the data this time, since it is quite large. Also, do not include any generated files. Submit in the same manner as last time.
FAQ:
 How does one make a collection of layers in C++?
The standard template collections (including std::vector<T>) assumed that the type, T, implements a copy constructor and an assignment operator and have a virtual destructor.
So, if your Layer class does not satisfy those requirements, then don't do this:
class NeuralNet : public SupervisedLearner
{
std::vector<Layer> layers; // BAD!
...
}
An easy solution is to do this instead:
class NeuralNet : public SupervisedLearner
{
std::vector<Layer*> layers; // Good
...
}
Pointers already satisfy all of the requirements for using with C++ collections.
Also, they are small, which means they will not incur an unnecessarily large cost when the vector decides to reallocate its buffer.
However, the responsibility now falls on you to clean up after yourself. Example:
class NeuralNet : public SupervisedLearner
{
std::vector<Layer*> layers;
...
virtual ~NeuralNet()
{
for(size_t i = 0; i < layers.size(); i++)
delete(layers[i]);
}
}
 Q: Can you provide example debug spew to help me debug this thing?
A: Okay.
I made a simple 3layer neural network with the following topology:
0) [LayerLinear: 1>2, Weights=4]
1) [LayerTanh: 2>2, Weights=0]
2) [LayerLinear: 2>1, Weights=3]
This neural network has a total of 7 weights, which I initialized to:
[0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3]
I presented the pattern [0.3] > [0.7] to this
neural network for training 3 times. I printed lots of
intermediate values for you to compare against.
If any value differs by more than 0.0000000001, you have a bug.
Presenting the pattern [0.3] > [0.7] for training...
In LayerLinear::activate
Input vector: 0.3
Weights:
[0.3
0.4
]
Bias: 0.1,0.2
Computed activation: 0.19,0.32
In LayerTanh::activate
Input vector: 0.19,0.32
Computed activation: 0.18774620586829,0.30950692121264
In LayerLinear::activate
Input vector: 0.18774620586829,0.30950692121264
Weights:
[0.2,0.3
]
Bias: 0.1
Computed activation: 0.23040131753745
Computing output layer blame vector
Target: 0.7
Prediction: 0.23040131753745
Blame: 0.46959868246255
In LayerLinear::backprop
Blame on this layer:0.46959868246255
Weights:
[0.2,0.3
]
Bias: 0.1
Computed blame on previous layer:0.09391973649251,0.14087960473877
In LayerTanh::backprop
Blame on this layer:0.09391973649251,0.14087960473877
Computed blame on previous layer:0.09060919371693,0.12738410861347
In LayerLinear::updateGradient
input vector: 0.3
blame vector: 0.09060919371693,0.12738410861347
Computed weights gradient:
[0.027182758115079
0.038215232584042
]
Computed bias gradient: 0.09060919371693,0.12738410861347
In LayerTanh::updateGradient
input vector: 0.19,0.32
blame vector: 0.09391973649251,0.14087960473877
In LayerLinear::updateGradient
input vector: 0.18774620586829,0.30950692121264
blame vector: 0.46959868246255
Computed weights gradient:
[0.08816537091309,0.1453440424145
]
Computed bias gradient: 0.46959868246255
Updating the weights for layer 0:
Learning rate: 0.1
Before Weights:
[0.3
0.4
]
Before Bias: 0.1,0.2
Updated Weights:
[0.30271827581151
0.4038215232584
]
Updated Bias: 0.10906091937169,0.21273841086135
Updating the weights for layer 1:
Updating the weights for layer 2:
Learning rate: 0.1
Before Weights:
[0.2,0.3
]
Before Bias: 0.1
Updated Weights:
[0.20881653709131,0.31453440424145
]
Updated Bias: 0.14695986824626
Presenting the pattern [0.3] > [0.7] for training...
In LayerLinear::activate
Input vector: 0.3
Weights:
[0.30271827581151
0.4038215232584
]
Bias: 0.10906091937169,0.21273841086135
Computed activation: 0.19987640211515,0.33388486783887
In LayerTanh::activate
Input vector: 0.19987640211515,0.33388486783887
Computed activation: 0.19725653444776,0.32200717194654
In LayerLinear::activate
Input vector: 0.19725653444776,0.32200717194654
Weights:
[0.20881653709131,0.31453440424145
]
Bias: 0.14695986824626
Computed activation: 0.28943262867795
Computing output layer blame vector
Target: 0.7
Prediction: 0.28943262867795
Blame: 0.41056737132205
In LayerLinear::backprop
Blame on this layer:0.41056737132205
Weights:
[0.20881653709131,0.31453440424145
]
Bias: 0.14695986824626
Computed blame on previous layer:0.085733256722152,0.12913756353976
In LayerTanh::backprop
Blame on this layer:0.085733256722152,0.12913756353976
Computed blame on previous layer:0.082397363667658,0.11574746794306
In LayerLinear::updateGradient
input vector: 0.3
blame vector: 0.082397363667658,0.11574746794306
Computed weights gradient:
[0.024719209100297
0.034724240382918
]
Computed bias gradient: 0.082397363667658,0.11574746794306
In LayerTanh::updateGradient
input vector: 0.19987640211515,0.33388486783887
blame vector: 0.085733256722152,0.12913756353976
In LayerLinear::updateGradient
input vector: 0.19725653444776,0.32200717194654
blame vector: 0.41056737132205
Computed weights gradient:
[0.080987096824315,0.13220563813294
]
Computed bias gradient: 0.41056737132205
Updating the weights for layer 0:
Learning rate: 0.1
Before Weights:
[0.30271827581151
0.4038215232584
]
Before Bias: 0.10906091937169,0.21273841086135
Updated Weights:
[0.30519019672154
0.4072939472967
]
Updated Bias: 0.11730065573846,0.22431315765565
Updating the weights for layer 1:
Updating the weights for layer 2:
Learning rate: 0.1
Before Weights:
[0.20881653709131,0.31453440424145
]
Before Bias: 0.14695986824626
Updated Weights:
[0.21691524677374,0.32775496805474
]
Updated Bias: 0.18801660537846
Presenting the pattern [0.3] > [0.7] for training...
In LayerLinear::activate
Input vector: 0.3
Weights:
[0.30519019672154
0.4072939472967
]
Bias: 0.11730065573846,0.22431315765565
Computed activation: 0.20885771475492,0.34650134184466
In LayerTanh::activate
Input vector: 0.20885771475492,0.34650134184466
Computed activation: 0.20587288635293,0.3332691109554
In LayerLinear::activate
Input vector: 0.20587288635293,0.3332691109554
Weights:
[0.21691524677374,0.32775496805474
]
Bias: 0.18801660537846
Computed activation: 0.34190418014055
Computing output layer blame vector
Target: 0.7
Prediction: 0.34190418014055
Blame: 0.35809581985945
In LayerLinear::backprop
Blame on this layer:0.35809581985945
Weights:
[0.21691524677374,0.32775496805474
]
Bias: 0.18801660537846
Computed blame on previous layer:0.077676443133458,0.11736768399857
In LayerTanh::backprop
Blame on this layer:0.077676443133458,0.11736768399857
Computed blame on previous layer:0.074384232316783,0.10433185482471
In LayerLinear::updateGradient
input vector: 0.3
blame vector: 0.074384232316783,0.10433185482471
Computed weights gradient:
[0.022315269695035
0.031299556447412
]
Computed bias gradient: 0.074384232316783,0.10433185482471
In LayerTanh::updateGradient
input vector: 0.20885771475492,0.34650134184466
blame vector: 0.077676443133458,0.11736768399857
In LayerLinear::updateGradient
input vector: 0.20587288635293,0.3332691109554
blame vector: 0.35809581985945
Computed weights gradient:
[0.073722220025384,0.11934227552141
]
Computed bias gradient: 0.35809581985945
Updating the weights for layer 0:
Learning rate: 0.1
Before Weights:
[0.30519019672154
0.4072939472967
]
Before Bias: 0.11730065573846,0.22431315765565
Updated Weights:
[0.30742172369104
0.41042390294144
]
Updated Bias: 0.12473907897014,0.23474634313812
Updating the weights for layer 1:
Updating the weights for layer 2:
Learning rate: 0.1
Before Weights:
[0.21691524677374,0.32775496805474
]
Before Bias: 0.18801660537846
Updated Weights:
[0.22428746877628,0.33968919560688
]
Updated Bias: 0.22382618736441
