Abstract: Density estimation, compression and data generation are crucial tasks in artificial intelligence. Variational Auto-Encoders (VAEs) constitute a single framework to achieve these goals. Here, we present a novel class of generative models, called self-supervised Variational Auto-Encoder (selfVAE), that utilizes deterministic and discrete variational posteriors. This class of models allows to perform both conditional and unconditional sampling, while simplifying the objective function. First, we use a single self-supervised transformation as a latent variable, where a transformation is either downscaling or edge detection. Next, we consider a hierarchical architecture, i.e., multiple transformations, and we show its benefits compared to the VAE. The flexibility of selfVAE in data reconstruction finds a particularly interesting use case in data compression tasks, where we can trade-off memory for better data quality, and vice-versa. We present performance of our approach on three benchmark image data (Cifar10, Imagenette64, and CelebA).
Authors: Ioannis Gatopoulos, Jakub M. Tomczak (University of Amsterdam, BrainCreators, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)