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Neural Computation

September 1995, Vol. 7, No. 5, Pages 1054-1078
(doi: 10.1162/neco.1995.7.5.1054)
© 1995 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agnostic PAC Learning of Functions on Analog Neural Nets
Article PDF (1.45 MB)

We consider learning on multilayer neural nets with piecewise polynomial activation functions and a fixed number k of numerical inputs. We exhibit arbitrarily large network architectures for which efficient and provably successful learning algorithms exist in the rather realistic refinement of Valiant's model for probably approximately correct learning ("PAC learning") where no a priori assumptions are required about the "target function" (agnostic learning), arbitrary noise is permitted in the training sample, and the target outputs as well as the network outputs may be arbitrary reals. The number of computation steps of the learning algorithm LEARN that we construct is bounded by a polynomial in the bit-length n of the fixed number of input variables, in the bound s for the allowed bit-length of weights, in 1/ε, where ε is some arbitrary given bound for the true error of the neural net after training, and in 1/δ where δ is some arbitrary given bound for the probability that the learning algorithm fails for a randomly drawn training sample. However, the computation time of LEARN is exponential in the number of weights of the considered network architecture, and therefore only of interest for neural nets of small size. This article provides details to the previously published extended abstract (Maass 1994).