Variational autoencoders trained with q-deformed lower bounds

Septimia Sârbu, Luigi Malagò

Mar 27, 2019 Blind Submission readers: everyone
  • Keywords: variational autoencoders, ELBO, IWAE, q-deformed logarithm, tight bounds
  • TL;DR: Using the q-deformed logarithm, we derive tighter bounds than IWAE, to train variational autoencoders.
  • Abstract: Variational autoencoders (VAEs) have been successful at learning a low-dimensional manifold from high-dimensional data with complex dependencies. At their core, they consist of a powerful Bayesian probabilistic inference model, to capture the salient features of the data. In training, they exploit the power of variational inference, by optimizing a lower bound on the model evidence. The latent representation and the performance of VAEs are heavily influenced by the type of bound used as a cost function. Significant research work has been carried out into the development of tighter bounds than the original ELBO, to more accurately approximate the true log-likelihood. By leveraging the q-deformed logarithm in the traditional lower bounds, ELBO and IWAE, and the upper bound CUBO, we bring contributions to this direction of research. In this proof-of-concept study, we explore different ways of creating these q-deformed bounds that are tighter than the classical ones and we show improvements in the performance of such VAEs on the binarized MNIST dataset.
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