Hierarchically Clustered Representation Learning

Su-Jin Shin, Kyungwoo Song, Il-Chul Moon

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: The joint optimization of representation learning and clustering in the embedding space has experienced a breakthrough in recent years. In spite of the advance, clustering with representation learning has been limited to flat-level categories, which oftentimes involves cohesive clustering with a focus on instance relations. To overcome the limitations of flat clustering, we introduce hierarchically clustered representation learning (HCRL), which simultaneously optimizes representation learning and hierarchical clustering in the embedding space. Specifically, we place a nonparametric Bayesian prior on embeddings to handle dynamic mixture hierarchies under the variational autoencoder framework, and to adopt the generative process of a hierarchical-versioned Gaussian mixture model. Compared with a few prior works focusing on unifying representation learning and hierarchical clustering, HCRL is the first model to consider a generation of deep embeddings from every component of the hierarchy, not just leaf components. This generation process enables more meaningful separations and mergers of clusters via branches in a hierarchy. In addition to obtaining hierarchically clustered embeddings, we can reconstruct data by the various abstraction levels, infer the intrinsic hierarchical structure, and learn the level-proportion features. We conducted evaluations with image and text domains, and our quantitative analyses showed competent likelihoods and the best accuracies compared with the baselines.
  • Keywords: Representation learning, Hierarchical clustering, Nonparametric Bayesian modeling
  • TL;DR: We introduce hierarchically clustered representation learning (HCRL), which simultaneously optimizes representation learning and hierarchical clustering in the embedding space.
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