A large part of the literature on learning disentangled representations focuses on variational autoencoders (VAE). Recent developments demonstrate that disentanglement cannot be obtained in a fully unsupervised setting without inductive biases on models and data. However, Khemakhem et al., AISTATS, 2020 suggest that employing a particular form of factorized prior, conditionally dependent on auxiliary variables complementing input observations, can be one such bias, resulting in an identifiable model with guarantees on disentanglement. Working along this line, we propose a novel VAE-based generative model with theoretical guarantees on identifiability. We obtain our conditional prior over the latents by learning an optimal representation, which imposes an additional strength on their regularization. We also extend our method to semi-supervised settings. Experimental results indicate superior performance with respect to state-of-the-art approaches, according to several established metrics proposed in the literature on disentanglement.
Most existing CNN-based super-resolution (SR) methods are developed based on an assumption that the degradation is fixed and known (e.g., bicubic downsampling). However, these methods suffer a severe performance drop when the real degradation is different from their assumption. To handle various unknown degradations in real-world applications, previous methods rely on degradation estimation to reconstruct the SR image. Nevertheless, degradation estimation methods are usually time-consuming and may lead to SR failure due to large estimation errors. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised degradation representation learning scheme for blind SR without explicit degradation estimation. Specifically, we learn abstract representations to distinguish various degradations in the representation space rather than explicit estimation in the pixel space. Moreover, we introduce a Degradation-Aware SR (DASR) network with flexible adaption to various degradations based on the learned representations. It is demonstrated that our degradation representation learning scheme can extract discriminative representations to obtain accurate degradation information. Experiments on both synthetic and real images show that our network achieves state-of-the-art performance for the blind SR task. Code is available at: https://github.com/LongguangWang/DASR.
For the comparison of inequality in multiple attributes the use of generalized Gini indices is proposed. Spectral social evaluation functions are used in the multivariate setting, and Gini dominance orderings are introduced that are uniform in attribute weights. Classes of spectral evaluators are considered that are parameterized by their aversion to inequality. Then a set-valued representative endowment is defined that characterizes $d$-dimensioned inequality. It consists of all points above the lower border of a convex compact in $R^d$, while the pointwise ordering of such endowments corresponds to uniform Gini dominance. Properties of uniform Gini dominance are derived, including relations to other orderings of $d$-variate distributions such as usual multivariate stochastic order and convex order. The multi-dimensioned representative endowment can be efficiently calculated from data; in a sampling context, it consistently estimates its population version.
Learning disentanglement aims at finding a low dimensional representation which consists of multiple explanatory and generative factors of the observational data. The framework of variational autoencoder (VAE) is commonly used to disentangle independent factors from observations. However, in real scenarios, factors with semantics are not necessarily independent. Instead, there might be an underlying causal structure which renders these factors dependent. We thus propose a new VAE based framework named CausalVAE, which includes a Causal Layer to transform independent exogenous factors into causal endogenous ones that correspond to causally related concepts in data. We further analyze the model identifiabitily, showing that the proposed model learned from observations recovers the true one up to a certain degree. Experiments are conducted on various datasets, including synthetic and real word benchmark CelebA. Results show that the causal representations learned by CausalVAE are semantically interpretable, and their causal relationship as a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) is identified with good accuracy. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the proposed CausalVAE model is able to generate counterfactual data through "do-operation" to the causal factors.
The information bottleneck (IB) method is a technique for extracting information that is relevant for predicting the target random variable from the source random variable, which is typically implemented by optimizing the IB Lagrangian that balances the compression and prediction terms. However, the IB Lagrangian is hard to optimize, and multiple trials for tuning values of Lagrangian multiplier are required. Moreover, we show that the prediction performance strictly decreases as the compression gets stronger during optimizing the IB Lagrangian. In this paper, we implement the IB method from the perspective of supervised disentangling. Specifically, we introduce Disentangled Information Bottleneck (DisenIB) that is consistent on compressing source maximally without target prediction performance loss (maximum compression). Theoretical and experimental results demonstrate that our method is consistent on maximum compression, and performs well in terms of generalization, robustness to adversarial attack, out-of-distribution detection, and supervised disentangling.
User behavior data in recommender systems are driven by the complex interactions of many latent factors behind the users' decision making processes. The factors are highly entangled, and may range from high-level ones that govern user intentions, to low-level ones that characterize a user's preference when executing an intention. Learning representations that uncover and disentangle these latent factors can bring enhanced robustness, interpretability, and controllability. However, learning such disentangled representations from user behavior is challenging, and remains largely neglected by the existing literature. In this paper, we present the MACRo-mIcro Disentangled Variational Auto-Encoder (MacridVAE) for learning disentangled representations from user behavior. Our approach achieves macro disentanglement by inferring the high-level concepts associated with user intentions (e.g., to buy a shirt or a cellphone), while capturing the preference of a user regarding the different concepts separately. A micro-disentanglement regularizer, stemming from an information-theoretic interpretation of VAEs, then forces each dimension of the representations to independently reflect an isolated low-level factor (e.g., the size or the color of a shirt). Empirical results show that our approach can achieve substantial improvement over the state-of-the-art baselines. We further demonstrate that the learned representations are interpretable and controllable, which can potentially lead to a new paradigm for recommendation where users are given fine-grained control over targeted aspects of the recommendation lists.
Both generative adversarial network models and variational autoencoders have been widely used to approximate probability distributions of datasets. Although they both use parametrized distributions to approximate the underlying data distribution, whose exact inference is intractable, their behaviors are very different. In this report, we summarize our experiment results that compare these two categories of models in terms of fidelity and mode collapse. We provide a hypothesis to explain their different behaviors and propose a new model based on this hypothesis. We further tested our proposed model on MNIST dataset and CelebA dataset.
Image-to-image translation aims to learn the mapping between two visual domains. There are two main challenges for many applications: 1) the lack of aligned training pairs and 2) multiple possible outputs from a single input image. In this work, we present an approach based on disentangled representation for producing diverse outputs without paired training images. To achieve diversity, we propose to embed images onto two spaces: a domain-invariant content space capturing shared information across domains and a domain-specific attribute space. Our model takes the encoded content features extracted from a given input and the attribute vectors sampled from the attribute space to produce diverse outputs at test time. To handle unpaired training data, we introduce a novel cross-cycle consistency loss based on disentangled representations. Qualitative results show that our model can generate diverse and realistic images on a wide range of tasks without paired training data. For quantitative comparisons, we measure realism with user study and diversity with a perceptual distance metric. We apply the proposed model to domain adaptation and show competitive performance when compared to the state-of-the-art on the MNIST-M and the LineMod datasets.
Options in reinforcement learning allow agents to hierarchically decompose a task into subtasks, having the potential to speed up learning and planning. However, autonomously learning effective sets of options is still a major challenge in the field. In this paper we focus on the recently introduced idea of using representation learning methods to guide the option discovery process. Specifically, we look at eigenoptions, options obtained from representations that encode diffusive information flow in the environment. We extend the existing algorithms for eigenoption discovery to settings with stochastic transitions and in which handcrafted features are not available. We propose an algorithm that discovers eigenoptions while learning non-linear state representations from raw pixels. It exploits recent successes in the deep reinforcement learning literature and the equivalence between proto-value functions and the successor representation. We use traditional tabular domains to provide intuition about our approach and Atari 2600 games to demonstrate its potential.