Jul 12, 2020
The representation of the approximate posterior is a critical aspect of effective variational autoencoders (VAEs). Poor choices for the approximate posterior have a detrimental impact on the generative performance of VAEs due to the mismatch with the true posterior. We extend the class of posterior models that may be learned by using undirected graphical models. We develop an efficient method to train undirected approximate posteriors by showing that the gradient of the training objective with respect to the parameters of the undirected posterior can be computed by backpropagation through Markov chain Monte Carlo updates. We apply these gradient estimators for training discrete VAEs with Boltzmann machines as approximate posteriors and demonstrate that undirected models outperform previous results obtained using directed graphical models.
The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.
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