Webpage of the Compositional Systems and Methods group at TalTech.

3 June 2021, 14:00, online


Bruno Gavranović, University of Strathclyde


Neural Networks through the Lens of Category Theory


I will give an introduction to the categorical foundation of gradient-based learning algorithms. I'll define three abstract constructions and show how they can be put together to form general neural networks. The Para construction is used to compose neural networks while keeping track of their weights. Lenses/Optics which are used to take care of the forward-backward data flow and lastly, reverse derivative categories are used to functorially construct the backward wires from the forward ones. In addition, we'll see that gradient descent, Momentum, and a number of optimizers are lenses too, and that this framework includes learning on boolean circuits, in addition to standard Euclidean spaces.