Montufar, Guido, Rauh, Johannes, Ay, Nihat

We present explicit classes of probability distributions that can be learned by Restricted Boltzmann Machines (RBMs) depending on the number of units that they contain, and which are representative for the expressive power of the model. We use this to show that the maximal Kullback-Leibler divergence to the RBM model with $n$ visible and $m$ hidden units is bounded from above by $n - \left\lfloor \log(m+1) \right\rfloor - \frac{m+1}{2^{\left\lfloor\log(m+1)\right\rfloor}} \approx (n -1) - \log(m+1)$. In this way we can specify the number of hidden units that guarantees a sufficiently rich model containing different classes of distributions and respecting a given error tolerance.

Montufar, Guido, Morton, Jason

We describe discrete restricted Boltzmann machines: probabilistic graphical models with bipartite interactions between visible and hidden discrete variables. Examples are binary restricted Boltzmann machines and discrete naive Bayes models. We detail the inference functions and distributed representations arising in these models in terms of configurations of projected products of simplices and normal fans of products of simplices. We bound the number of hidden variables, depending on the cardinalities of their state spaces, for which these models can approximate any probability distribution on their visible states to any given accuracy. In addition, we use algebraic methods and coding theory to compute their dimension.

Montufar, Guido F., Morton, Jason

We study the mixtures of factorizing probability distributions represented as visible marginal distributions in stochastic layered networks. We take the perspective of kernel transitions of distributions, which gives a unified picture of distributed representations arising from Deep Belief Networks (DBN) and other networks without lateral connections. We describe combinatorial and geometric properties of the set of kernels and products of kernels realizable by DBNs as the network parameters vary. We describe explicit classes of probability distributions, including exponential families, that can be learned by DBNs. We use these submodels to bound the maximal and the expected Kullback-Leibler approximation errors of DBNs from above depending on the number of hidden layers and units that they contain.

We generalize recent theoretical work on the minimal number of layers of narrow deep belief networks that can approximate any probability distribution on the states of their visible units arbitrarily well. We relax the setting of binary units (Sutskever and Hinton, 2008; Le Roux and Bengio, 2008, 2010; Mont\'ufar and Ay, 2011) to units with arbitrary finite state spaces, and the vanishing approximation error to an arbitrary approximation error tolerance. For example, we show that a $q$-ary deep belief network with $L\geq 2+\frac{q^{\lceil m-\delta \rceil}-1}{q-1}$ layers of width $n \leq m + \log_q(m) + 1$ for some $m\in \mathbb{N}$ can approximate any probability distribution on $\{0,1,\ldots,q-1\}^n$ without exceeding a Kullback-Leibler divergence of $\delta$. Our analysis covers discrete restricted Boltzmann machines and na\"ive Bayes models as special cases.

The restricted Boltzmann machine is a network of stochastic units with undirected interactions between pairs of visible and hidden units. This model was popularized as a building block of deep learning architectures and has continued to play an important role in applied and theoretical machine learning. Restricted Boltzmann machines carry a rich structure, with connections to geometry, applied algebra, probability, statistics, machine learning, and other areas. The analysis of these models is attractive in its own right and also as a platform to combine and generalize mathematical tools for graphical models with hidden variables. This article gives an introduction to the mathematical analysis of restricted Boltzmann machines, reviews recent results on the geometry of the sets of probability distributions representable by these models, and suggests a few directions for further investigation.