Generative Modeling of Regular and Irregular Time Series Data via Koopman VAEs

4 Oct 2023  ·  Ilan Naiman, N. Benjamin Erichson, Pu Ren, Michael W. Mahoney, Omri Azencot ·

Generating realistic time series data is important for many engineering and scientific applications. Existing work tackles this problem using generative adversarial networks (GANs). However, GANs are often unstable during training, and they can suffer from mode collapse. While variational autoencoders (VAEs) are known to be more robust to these issues, they are (surprisingly) less often considered for time series generation. In this work, we introduce Koopman VAE (KVAE), a new generative framework that is based on a novel design for the model prior, and that can be optimized for either regular and irregular training data. Inspired by Koopman theory, we represent the latent conditional prior dynamics using a linear map. Our approach enhances generative modeling with two desired features: (i) incorporating domain knowledge can be achieved by leverageing spectral tools that prescribe constraints on the eigenvalues of the linear map; and (ii) studying the qualitative behavior and stablity of the system can be performed using tools from dynamical systems theory. Our results show that KVAE outperforms state-of-the-art GAN and VAE methods across several challenging synthetic and real-world time series generation benchmarks. Whether trained on regular or irregular data, KVAE generates time series that improve both discriminative and predictive metrics. We also present visual evidence suggesting that KVAE learns probability density functions that better approximate empirical ground truth distributions.

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