- Abstract: Representations learnt through deep neural networks tend to be highly informative, but opaque in terms of what information they learn to encode. We introduce an approach to probabilistic modelling that learns to represent data with two separate deep representations: an invariant representation that encodes the information of the class from which the data belongs, and an equivariant representation that encodes the symmetry transformation defining the particular data point within the class manifold (equivariant in the sense that the representation varies naturally with symmetry transformations). This approach to representation learning is conceptually transparent, easy to implement, and in-principle generally applicable to any data comprised of discrete classes of continuous distributions (e.g. objects in images, topics in language, individuals in behavioural data). We demonstrate qualitatively compelling representation learning and competitive quantitative performance, in both supervised and semi-supervised settings, versus comparable modelling approaches in the literature with little fine tuning.
- Keywords: representation learning, semantic representations, local vs global information, latent variable modelling, generative modelling, semi-supervised learning, variational autoencoders.
- TL;DR: This paper presents a novel latent-variable generative modelling technique that enables the representation of global information into one latent variable and local information into another latent variable.