I am a bit confused about the depth of the convolutional filters in a CNN.

At layer 1, there are usually about 40 3x3x3 filters. Each of these filters outputs a 2d array, so the total output of the first layer is 40 2d arrays.

Does the next convolutional filter have a depth of 40? So, would the filter dimensions be 3x3x40?


1 Answer 1


Does the next convolutional filter have a depth of 40? So, would the filter dimensions be 3x3x40?

Yes. The depth of the next layer $l$ (which corresponds to the number of feature maps) will be 40. If you apply $8$ kernels with a $3\times 3$ window to $l$, then the number of features maps (or the depth) of layer $l+1$ will be $8$. Each of these $8$ kernels has an actual shape of $3 \times 3 \times 40$. Bear in mind that the details of the implementations may change across different libraries.

The following simple TensorFlow (version 2.1) and Keras program

import tensorflow as tf

def get_model(input_shape, num_classes=10):
    model = tf.keras.Sequential()
    model.add(tf.keras.layers.Conv2D(40, kernel_size=3))
    model.add(tf.keras.layers.Conv2D(8, kernel_size=3))


    return model

if __name__ == '__main__':
    input_shape = (28, 28, 1)  # MNIST digits have usually this shape.

outputs the following

Model: "sequential"
Layer (type)                 Output Shape              Param #   
conv2d (Conv2D)              (None, 26, 26, 40)        400       
conv2d_1 (Conv2D)            (None, 24, 24, 8)         2888      
flatten (Flatten)            (None, 4608)              0         
dense (Dense)                (None, 10)                46090     
Total params: 49,378
Trainable params: 49,378
Non-trainable params: 0

where conv2d has the output shape (None, 26, 26, 40) because there are 40 filters, each of which will have a $3\times 3 \times 40$ shape.

The documentation of the first argument (i.e. filters) of the Conv2D says

filters – Integer, the dimensionality of the output space (i.e. the number of output filters in the convolution).

and the documentation of the kernel_size parameter states

kernel_size – An integer or tuple/list of 2 integers, specifying the height and width of the 2D convolution window. Can be a single integer to specify the same value for all spatial dimensions.

It doesn't actually say anything about the depth of the kernels, but this is implied from the depth of the layers.

Note that the first layer has $(40*(3*3*1))+40 = 400$ parameters. Where do these numbers come from? Note also that the second Conv2D layer has $(8*(3*3*40))+8 = 2888$ parameters. Try to set the parameter use_bias of the first Conv2D layer to False and see the number of parameters again.

Finally, note that this reasoning applies to 2d convolutions. In the case of 3d convolutions, the depth of the kernels could be different than the depth of the input. Check this answer for more details about 3d convolutions.


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