Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)
Qinliang Su, xuejun Liao, Lawrence Carin
We present a probabilistic framework for nonlinearities, based on doubly truncated Gaussian distributions. By setting the truncation points appropriately, we are able to generate various types of nonlinearities within a unified framework, including sigmoid, tanh and ReLU, the most commonly used nonlinearities in neural networks. The framework readily integrates into existing stochastic neural networks (with hidden units characterized as random variables), allowing one for the first time to learn the nonlinearities alongside model weights in these networks. Extensive experiments demonstrate the performance improvements brought about by the proposed framework when integrated with the restricted Boltzmann machine (RBM), temporal RBM and the truncated Gaussian graphical model (TGGM).