ConvolutionalLayer has a few optional parameters. "Dilation" is one I'm having trouble understanding how it works and the documentation is terse.

Can anyone give some explanation?



1 Answer 1


The documentation will improve, hopefully with a picture.

In English terms, dilation 'stretches' the area over which the kernel is convolved, by subsampling the original data (sampling it every d+1 pixels).

In the meantime, here's something that lets you visualize the receptive field (the effective kernel) of a given kernelsize and dilation. Black pixels represent pixels that participate in the convolution, white pixels are ones that are skipped:

plotReceptiveField[kernel_, dilation_] := Module[
    {d = dilation+1},
            If[Total[Mod[{##},d]] == 0, 1, 0]&, 
        ], Sequence @@ dilation],
        Mesh -> True, ImageSize -> Small

Here are some pictures:

plotReceptiveField[{3, 3}, {0, 0}] (* no dilation *)

enter image description here

plotReceptiveField[{3, 3}, {1, 1}] (* uniform dilation of 1 *)

enter image description here

plotReceptiveField[{3, 3}, {2, 0}] (* non-uniform dilation *)

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, and is the improved documentation expected in v11.0.1 or v11.1? $\endgroup$
    – M.R.
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ 11.0.1 ship sailed long ago. It'll have to be for 11.1 or 11.2 if we run out of time (I'm sure you'd rather prefer working recurrent networks than slightly improved documentation). $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 20:33

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