Directing Generative Networks with Weighted Maximum Mean Discrepancy

Maurice Diesendruck, Guy W. Cole, Sinead Williamson

Feb 15, 2018 (modified: Feb 15, 2018) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: The maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) between two probability measures P and Q is a metric that is zero if and only if all moments of the two measures are equal, making it an appealing statistic for two-sample tests. Given i.i.d. samples from P and Q, Gretton et al. (2012) show that we can construct an unbiased estimator for the square of the MMD between the two distributions. If P is a distribution of interest and Q is the distribution implied by a generative neural network with stochastic inputs, we can use this estimator to train our neural network. However, in practice we do not always have i.i.d. samples from our target of interest. Data sets often exhibit biases—for example, under-representation of certain demographics—and if we ignore this fact our machine learning algorithms will propagate these biases. Alternatively, it may be useful to assume our data has been gathered via a biased sample selection mechanism in order to manipulate properties of the estimating distribution Q. In this paper, we construct an estimator for the MMD between P and Q when we only have access to P via some biased sample selection mechanism, and suggest methods for estimating this sample selection mechanism when it is not already known. We show that this estimator can be used to train generative neural networks on a biased data sample, to give a simulator that reverses the effect of that bias.
  • TL;DR: We propose an estimator for the maximum mean discrepancy, appropriate when a target distribution is only accessible via a biased sample selection procedure, and show that it can be used in a generative network to correct for this bias.
  • Keywords: generative networks, two sample tests, bias correction, maximum mean discrepancy