Non-Gaussianity of Stochastic Gradient Noise (Ongoing)


What enables Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) to achieve better generalization than Gradient Descent (GD) in Neural Network training? This question has attracted much attention. In this paper, we study the distribution of the Stochastic Gradient Noise (SGN) vectors during the training. We observe that for batch sizes 256 and above, the distribution is best described as Gaussian at-least in the early phases of training. This holds across data-sets, architectures, and other choices.

A minor version has been accepted in SEDL workshop of Neurips 2019 and can be accessed from the Paper Link.