Keywords: Normalizing flows, deep generative models, VQVAE, manifolds, vector quantization
TL;DR: learning data distributions over non-trivial topologies using vector quantized mixture of local normalizing flows
Abstract: Normalizing flows provide an elegant approach to generative modeling that allows for efficient sampling and exact density evaluation of unknown data distributions. However, current techniques have significant limitations in their expressivity when the data distribution is supported on a low-dimensional manifold or has a non-trivial topology. We introduce a novel statistical framework for learning a mixture of local normalizing flows as ``chart maps'' over the data manifold. Our framework augments the expressivity of recent approaches while preserving the signature property of normalizing flows, that they admit exact density evaluation. We learn a suitable atlas of charts for the data manifold via a vector quantized auto-encoder (VQ-AE) and the distributions over them using a conditional flow. We validate experimentally that our probabilistic framework enables existing approaches to better model data distributions over complex manifolds.
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