Stable and Interpretable Unrolled Dictionary Learning

Published: 04 Aug 2022, Last Modified: 28 Feb 2023Accepted by TMLREveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Abstract: The dictionary learning problem, representing data as a combination of a few atoms, has long stood as a popular method for learning representations in statistics and signal processing. The most popular dictionary learning algorithm alternates between sparse coding and dictionary update steps, and a rich literature has studied its theoretical convergence. The success of dictionary learning relies on access to a good initial estimate of the dictionary and the ability of the sparse coding step to provide an unbiased estimate of the code. The growing popularity of unrolled sparse coding networks has led to the empirical finding that backpropagation through such networks performs dictionary learning. We offer the theoretical analysis of these empirical results through PUDLE, a Provable Unrolled Dictionary LEarning method. We provide conditions on the network initialization and data distribution sufficient to recover and preserve the support of the latent code. Additionally, we address two challenges; first, the vanilla unrolled sparse coding computes a biased code estimate, and second, gradients during backpropagated learning can become unstable. We show approaches to reduce the bias of the code estimate in the forward pass, and that of the dictionary estimate in the backward pass. We propose strategies to resolve the learning instability by tuning network parameters and modifying the loss function. Overall, we highlight the impact of loss, unrolling, and backpropagation on convergence. We complement our findings through synthetic and image denoising experiments. Finally, we demonstrate PUDLE's interpretability, a driving factor in designing deep networks based on iterative optimizations, by building a mathematical relation between network weights, its output, and the training set.
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Submission Length: Long submission (more than 12 pages of main content)
Previous TMLR Submission Url:
Changes Since Last Submission: Addressed reviewers' comments.
Assigned Action Editor: ~Zhihui_Zhu1
Submission Number: 86