Variational Generative Stochastic Networks with Collaborative Shaping


Philip Bachman, Doina Precup ;
Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 37:1964-1972, 2015.


We develop an approach to training generative models based on unrolling a variational auto-encoder into a Markov chain, and shaping the chain’s trajectories using a technique inspired by recent work in Approximate Bayesian computation. We show that the global minimizer of the resulting objective is achieved when the generative model reproduces the target distribution. To allow finer control over the behavior of the models, we add a regularization term inspired by techniques used for regularizing certain types of policy search in reinforcement learning. We present empirical results on the MNIST and TFD datasets which show that our approach offers state-of-the-art performance, both quantitatively and from a qualitative point of view.

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