Improving the Unsupervised Disentangled Representation Learning with VAE Ensemble

1 Jan 2021  ·  Nanxiang Li, Shabnam Ghaffarzadegan, Liu Ren ·

Variational Autoencoder (VAE) based frameworks have achieved the state-of-the-art performance on the unsupervised disentangled representation learning. A recent theoretical analysis shows that such success is mainly due to the VAE implementation choices that encourage a PCA-like behavior locally on data samples... Despite this implied model identifiability, the VAE based disentanglement frameworks still face the trade-off between the local orthogonality and data reconstruction. As a result, models with the same architecture and hyperparameter setting can sometime learn entangled representations. To address this challenge, we propose a simple yet effective VAE ensemble framework consisting of multiple VAEs. It is based on the assumption that entangled representations are unique in their own ways, and the disentangled representations are "alike" (similar up to a signed permutation transformation). In the proposed VAE ensemble, each model not only maintains its original objective, but also encodes to and decodes from other models through pair-wise linear transformations between the latent representations. We show both theoretically and experimentally, the VAE ensemble objective encourages the linear transformations connecting the VAEs to be trivial transformations, aligning the latent representations of different models to be "alike". We compare our approach with the state-of-the-art unsupervised disentangled representation learning approaches and show the improved performance. read more

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