M.Sc Thesis


M.Sc StudentAbutbul Amram
SubjectDeep Neural Network Architecture for Tabular Data
DepartmentDepartment of Computer Science
Supervisor PROF. Ran El-Yaniv
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

A challenging open question in deep learning is how to handle tabular data. Unlike domains such as image and natural language processing, where deep architectures prevail, there is still no widely accepted neural architecture that dominates tabular data. As a step toward bridging this gap, we present DNF-Net a novel generic architecture whose inductive bias elicits models whose structure corresponds to logical Boolean formulas in disjunctive normal form (DNF) over affine soft-threshold decision terms. In addition, DNF-Net promotes localized decisions that are taken over small subsets of the features. We present an extensive empirical study showing that DNF-Nets significantly and consistently outperform fully connected networks (FCNs) over tabular data. With relatively few hyperparameters, DNF-Nets open the door to practical end-to-end handling of tabular data using neural networks. We present ablation studies, which justify the design choices of DNF-Net including the three inductive bias elements, namely, Boolean formulation, locality, and feature selection.