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Deep Learning: A Guide to Optimizing Learning Rates

This article explores the importance of optimizing learning rates in deep learning models. It discusses the role of learning rates in model convergence and explores various techniques for finding the optimal learning rate, including learning rate decay, scheduling, and adaptive methods. The article also introduces the concept of the Learning Rate Test and highlights its benefits in efficiently tuning learning rates.

Rahul S
7 min readJul 5, 2023

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INTRODUCTION

Hyperparameters are configuration variables that are external to the model and are not estimated from the given data. They are defined by the practitioner and are essential in the estimating model parameters. Techniques like grid search or random search are used in tuning them to values that yield the most accurate predictions.

One significant hyperparameter is the learning rate (λ).

It determines the adjustment of the weights in the network based on the loss gradient descent. The Gradient Descent Algorithm, a commonly used optimization algorithm, iteratively updates the model’s weights by minimizing a cost function. It is:

Repeat until convergence:

Wj = Wj — λ θF(Wj)/θWj

Where:

  • Wj represents the weight
  • θ denotes theta
  • F(Wj) represents the cost function

The learning rate controls the speed at which the model moves towards the optimal weights.

  • If the learning rate is too large, the algorithm may overshoot the optimal solution.
  • Conversely, if the learning rate is too small, the algorithm may require a significant number of iterations to converge to the best values. Hence, selecting an appropriate learning rate is of utmost importance.

In simpler terms, the learning rate determines how quickly the neural network…

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