How we can initialize the weights of a neural network?

Proper initialization of weight matrix in neural network is very necessary. Simply we can say there are two ways for initializtions.

  1. Initializing weights with zeroes. Setting weights to zero makes your network no better than a linear model. It is important to note that setting biases to 0 will not create any troubles as non zero weights take care of breaking the symmetry and even if bias is 0, the values in every neuron are still different.
  2. Initializing weights randomly. Assigning random values to weights is better than just 0 assignment.
    • a) If weights are initialized with very high values the term,X)+b becomes significantly higher and if an activation function like sigmoid() is applied, the function maps its value near to 1 where the slope of gradient changes slowly and learning takes a lot of time.
    • b) If weights are initialized with low values it gets mapped to 0, where the case is the same as above. This problem is often referred to as the vanishing gradient.

What if we set all the weights of a neural network to 0?

If all the weights of a neural network are set to zero, the output of each connection is same (W*x = 0). This means the gradients which are backpropagated to each connection in a layer is same. This means all the connections/weights learn the same thing, and the model never converges.

Speak Your Mind