CNNs with Compact Activation Function

Jindong Wang, Jinchao Xu, Jianqing Zhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Activation function plays an important role in neural networks. We propose to use hat activation function, namely the first order B-spline, as activation function for CNNs including MgNet and ResNet. Different from commonly used activation functions like ReLU, the hat function has a compact support and no obvious spectral bias. Although spectral bias is thought to be beneficial for generalization, we show that MgNet and ResNet with hat function still exhibit a slightly better generalization performance than CNNs with ReLU function by our experiments of classification on MNIST, CIFAR10/100 and ImageNet datasets. This indicates that CNNs without spectral bias can have a good generalization capability. We also illustrate that although hat function has a small activation area which is more likely to induce vanishing gradient problem, hat CNNs with various initialization methods still works well.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783031087530
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


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