Semi-Supervised Manifold Learning with Complexity Decoupled Chart Autoencoders

22 Aug 2022  ·  Stefan C. Schonsheck, Scott Mahan, Timo Klock, Alexander Cloninger, Rongjie Lai ·

Autoencoding is a popular method in representation learning. Conventional autoencoders employ symmetric encoding-decoding procedures and a simple Euclidean latent space to detect hidden low-dimensional structures in an unsupervised way. This work introduces a chart autoencoder with an asymmetric encoding-decoding process that can incorporate additional semi-supervised information such as class labels. Besides enhancing the capability for handling data with complicated topological and geometric structures, these models can successfully differentiate nearby but disjoint manifolds and intersecting manifolds with only a small amount of supervision. Moreover, this model only requires a low complexity encoder, such as local linear projection. We discuss the theoretical approximation power of such networks that essentially depends on the intrinsic dimension of the data manifold and not the dimension of the observations. Our numerical experiments on synthetic and real-world data verify that the proposed model can effectively manage data with multi-class nearby but disjoint manifolds of different classes, overlapping manifolds, and manifolds with non-trivial topology.

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