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Multiple Descent in the Multiple Random Feature Model

Xuran Meng, Jianfeng Yao, Yuan Cao; 25(44):1−49, 2024.


Recent works have demonstrated a double descent phenomenon in over-parameterized learning. Although this phenomenon has been investigated by recent works, it has not been fully understood in theory. In this paper, we investigate the multiple descent phenomenon in a class of multi-component prediction models. We first consider a "double random feature model" (DRFM) concatenating two types of random features, and study the excess risk achieved by the DRFM in ridge regression. We calculate the precise limit of the excess risk under the high dimensional framework where the training sample size, the dimension of data, and the dimension of random features tend to infinity proportionally. Based on the calculation, we further theoretically demonstrate that the risk curves of DRFMs can exhibit triple descent. We then provide a thorough experimental study to verify our theory. At last, we extend our study to the "multiple random feature model" (MRFM), and show that MRFMs ensembling $K$ types of random features may exhibit $(K+1)$-fold descent. Our analysis points out that risk curves with a specific number of descent generally exist in learning multi-component prediction models.

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