Batch norm with entropic regularization turns deterministic autoencoders into generative models
Proceedings of the 36th Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), PMLR 124:1079-1088, 2020.
The variational autoencoder is a well defined deep generative model that utilizes an encoder-decoder framework where an encoding neural network outputs a non-deterministic code for reconstructing an input. The encoder achieves this by sampling from a distribution for every input, instead of outputting a deterministic code per input. The great advantage of this process is that it allows the use of the network as a generative model for sampling from the data distribution beyond provided samples for training. We show in this work that utilizing batch normalization as a source for non-determinism suffices to turn deterministic autoencoders into generative models on par with variational ones, so long as we add a suitable entropic regularization to the training objective.