Inverting Supervised Representations with Autoregressive Neural Density Models


Charlie Nash, Nate Kushman, Christopher K.I. Williams ;
Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, PMLR 89:1620-1629, 2019.


We present a method for feature interpretation that makes use of recent advances in autoregressive density estimation models to invert model representations. We train generative inversion models to express a distribution over input features conditioned on intermediate model representations. Insights into the invariances learned by supervised models can be gained by viewing samples from these inversion models. In addition, we can use these inversion models to estimate the mutual information between a model’s inputs and its intermediate representations, thus quantifying the amount of information preserved by the network at different stages. Using this method we examine the types of information preserved at different layers of convolutional neural networks, and explore the invariances induced by different architectural choices. Finally we show that the mutual information between inputs and network layers initially increases and then decreases over the course of training, supporting recent work by Shwartz-Ziv and Tishby (2017) on the information bottleneck theory of deep learning.

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