A mathematical theory of deep convolutional neural networks for feature extraction


Thomas Wiatowski and Helmut Bölcskei


IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, Vol. 64, No. 3, pp. 1845-1866, Mar. 2018.

DOI: 10.1109/TIT.2017.2776228

[BibTeX, LaTeX, and HTML Reference]


Deep convolutional neural networks have led to breakthrough results in numerous practical machine learning tasks such as classification of images in the ImageNet data set, control-policy-learning to play Atari games or the board game Go, and image captioning. Many of these applications first perform feature extraction and then feed the results thereof into a trainable classifier. The mathematical analysis of deep convolutional neural networks for feature extraction was initiated by Mallat, 2012. Specifically, Mallat considered so-called scattering networks based on a wavelet transform followed by the modulus non-linearity in each network layer, and proved translation invariance (asymptotically in the wavelet scale parameter) and deformation stability of the corresponding feature extractor. This paper complements Mallat's results by developing a theory that encompasses general convolutional transforms, or in more technical parlance, general semi-discrete frames (including Weyl-Heisenberg filters, curvelets, shearlets, ridgelets, wavelets, and learned filters), general Lipschitz-continuous non-linearities (e.g., rectified linear units, shifted logistic sigmoids, hyperbolic tangents, and modulus functions), and general Lipschitz-continuous pooling operators emulating, e.g., sub-sampling and averaging. In addition, all of these elements can be different in different network layers. For the resulting feature extractor we prove a translation invariance result of vertical nature in the sense of the features becoming progressively more translation-invariant with increasing network depth, and we establish deformation sensitivity bounds that apply to signal classes such as, e.g., band-limited functions, cartoon functions, and Lipschitz functions.


Machine learning, deep convolutional neural networks, scattering networks, feature extraction, frame theory.

Download this document:


Copyright Notice: © 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.

This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.