Learning Disentangled Representations with Reference-Based Variational Autoencoders


Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Learning disentangled representations from visual data, where different high-level generative factors are independently encoded, is of importance for many computer vision tasks. Supervised approaches, however, require a significant annotation effort in order to label the factors of interest in a training set. To alleviate the annotation cost, we introduce a learning setting which we refer to as "reference-based disentangling''. Given a pool of unlabelled images, the goal is to learn a representation where a set of target factors are disentangled from others. The only supervision comes from an auxiliary "reference set'' that contains images where the factors of interest are constant. In order to address this problem, we propose reference-based variational autoencoders, a novel deep generative model designed to exploit the weak supervisory signal provided by the reference set. During training, we use the variational inference framework where adversarial learning is used to minimize the objective function. By addressing tasks such as feature learning, conditional image generation or attribute transfer, we validate the ability of the proposed model to learn disentangled representations from minimal supervision.
  • Keywords: Disentangled representations, Variational Autoencoders, Adversarial Learning, Weakly-supervised learning
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