Hierarchical Autoregressive Image Models with Auxiliary Decoders Hierarchical Autoregressive Image Models with Auxiliary Decoders
Paper summary Current work in image generation (and generative models more broadly) can be split into two broad categories: implicit models, and likelihood-based models. Implicit models is a categorically that predominantly creates GANs, and which learns how to put pixels in the right places without actually learning a joint probability model over pixels. This is a detriment for applications where you do actually want to be able to calculate probabilities for particular images, in addition to simply sampling new images from your model. Within the class of explicit probability models, the auto-encoder and the autoregressive model are the two most central and well-established. An auto-encoder works by compressing information about an image into a central lower-dimensional “bottleneck” code, and then trying to reconstruct the original image using the information contained in the code. This structure works well for capturing global structure, but is generally weaker at local structure, because by convention images are generated through stacked convolutional layers, where each pixel in the image is sampled separately, albeit conditioned on the same latent state (the value of the layer below). This is in contrast to an auto-regressive decoder, where you apply some ordering to the pixels, and then sample them in sequence: starting the prior over the first pixel, and then the second conditional on the first, and so on. In this setup, instead of simply expecting your neighboring pixels to coordinate with you because you share latent state, the model actually has visibility into the particular pixel sampled at the prior step, and has the ability to condition on that. This leads to higher-precision generation of local pixel structure with these models . If you want a model that can get the best of all of these worlds - high-local precision, good global structure, and the ability to calculate probabilities - a sensible approach might be to combine the two: to learn a global-compressed code using an autoencoder, and then, conditioning on that autoencoder code as well as the last sampled values, generate pixels using an autoregressive decoder. However, in practice, this has proved tricky. At a high level, this is because the two systems are hard to balance with one another, and different kinds of imbalance lead to different failure modes. If you try to constrain the expression power of your global code too much, your model will just give up on having global information, and just condition pixels on surrounding (past-sampled) pixels. But, by contrast, if you don’t limit the capacity of the code, then the model puts even very local information into the code and ignores the autoregressive part of the model, which brings it away from playing our desired role as global specifier of content. This paper suggests a new combination approach, whereby we jointly train an encoder and autoregressive decoder, but instead of training the encoder on the training signal produced by that decoder, we train it on the training signal we would have gotten from decoding the code into pixels using a simpler decoder, like a feedforward network. The autoregressive network trains on the codes from the encoder as the encoder trains, but it doesn’t actually pass any signal back to it. Basically, we’re training our global code to believe it’s working with a less competent decoder, and then substituting our autoregressive decoder in during testing. https://i.imgur.com/d2vF2IQ.png Some additional technical notes: - Instead of using a more traditional continuous-valued bottleneck code, this paper uses the VQ-VAE tactic of discretizing code values, to be able to more easily control code capacity. This essentially amounts to generating code vectors as normal, clustering them, passing their cluster medians forward, and then ignoring the fact that none of this is differentiable and passing back gradients with respect to the median - For their auxiliary decoders, the authors use both a simple feedforward network, and also a more complicated network, where the model needs to guess a pixel, using only the pixel values outside of a window of size of that pixel. The goal of the latter variant is to experiment with a decoder that can’t use local information, and could only use global
Hierarchical Autoregressive Image Models with Auxiliary Decoders
Fauw, Jeffrey De and Dieleman, Sander and Simonyan, Karen
arXiv e-Print archive - 2019 via Local Bibsonomy
Keywords: dblp

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