Regularizing by the variance of the activations' sample-variances

Etai Littwin, Lior Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Normalization techniques play an important role in supporting efficient and often more effective training of deep neural networks. While conventional methods explicitly normalize the activations, we suggest to add a loss term instead. This new loss term encourages the variance of the activations to be stable and not vary from one random mini-batch to the next. As we prove, this encourages the activations to be distributed around a few distinct modes. We also show that if the inputs are from a mixture of two Gaussians, the new loss would either join the two together, or separate between them optimally in the LDA sense, depending on the prior probabilities. Finally, we are able to link the new regularization term to the batchnorm method, which provides it with a regularization perspective. Our experiments demonstrate an improvement in accuracy over the batchnorm technique for both CNNs and fully connected networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2115-2125
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2018
Event32nd Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2018 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 2 Dec 20188 Dec 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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