Learning to Generate with Memory


Chongxuan Li, Jun Zhu, Bo Zhang ;
Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 48:1177-1186, 2016.


Memory units have been widely used to enrich the capabilities of deep networks on capturing long-term dependencies in reasoning and prediction tasks, but little investigation exists on deep generative models (DGMs) which are good at inferring high-level invariant representations from unlabeled data. This paper presents a deep generative model with a possibly large external memory and an attention mechanism to capture the local detail information that is often lost in the bottom-up abstraction process in representation learning. By adopting a smooth attention model, the whole network is trained end-to-end by optimizing a variational bound of data likelihood via auto-encoding variational Bayesian methods, where an asymmetric recognition network is learnt jointly to infer high-level invariant representations. The asymmetric architecture can reduce the competition between bottom-up invariant feature extraction and top-down generation of instance details. Our experiments on several datasets demonstrate that memory can significantly boost the performance of DGMs on various tasks, including density estimation, image generation, and missing value imputation, and DGMs with memory can achieve state-of-the-art quantitative results.

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