Estimating the Optimal Covariance with Imperfect Mean in Diffusion Probabilistic Models
Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 162:1555-1584, 2022.
Diffusion probabilistic models (DPMs) are a class of powerful deep generative models (DGMs). Despite their success, the iterative generation process over the full timesteps is much less efficient than other DGMs such as GANs. Thus, the generation performance on a subset of timesteps is crucial, which is greatly influenced by the covariance design in DPMs. In this work, we consider diagonal and full covariances to improve the expressive power of DPMs. We derive the optimal result for such covariances, and then correct it when the mean of DPMs is imperfect. Both the optimal and the corrected ones can be decomposed into terms of conditional expectations over functions of noise. Building upon it, we propose to estimate the optimal covariance and its correction given imperfect mean by learning these conditional expectations. Our method can be applied to DPMs with both discrete and continuous timesteps. We consider the diagonal covariance in our implementation for computational efficiency. For an efficient practical implementation, we adopt a parameter sharing scheme and a two-stage training process. Empirically, our method outperforms a wide variety of covariance design on likelihood results, and improves the sample quality especially on a small number of timesteps.