## About the convergence in neural networks

You might be wondering why we did not use regular gradient descent but instead used mini-batch learning to train our neural network for the handwritten digit classification. You may recall our discussion on stochastic gradient descent that we used to implement online learning. In online learning, we compute the gradient based on a single training example (*k = 1*) at a time to perform the weight update. Although this is a stochastic approach, it often leads to very accurate solutions with a much faster convergence than regular gradient descent. Mini-batch learning is a special form of stochastic gradient descent where we compute the gradient based on a subset *k *of the *n* training samples with *1 < k < n*. Mini-batch learning has the advantage over online learning that we can make use of our vectorized implementations to improve computational efficiency. However, we can update the weights much faster than in regular gradient descent. Intuitively,...