TraDE: Transformers for Density Estimation

ICML 2020

We present TraDE, an attention-based architecture for auto-regressive density estimation. In addition to a Maximum Likelihood loss we employ a Maximum Mean Discrepancy (MMD) two-sample loss to ensure that samples from the estimate resemble the training data. The use of attention means that the model need not retain conditional sufficient statistics during the process beyond what is needed for each covariate. TraDE performs significantly better than existing approaches such differentiable flow based estimators on standard tabular and image-based benchmarks in terms of the log-likelihood on held out data. TraDE works well wide range of tasks that includes classification methods to ascertain the quality of generated samples, out of distribution sample detection, and handling outliers in the training data. Speakers: Rasool Fakoor, Pratik Chaudhari, Jonas Mueller, Alexander J. Smola