Learning Discrete Structured Representations by Adversarially Maximizing Mutual Information

Jul 12, 2020

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We propose learning discrete structured representations from unlabeled data by maximizing the mutual information between a structured latent variable and a target variable. Calculating mutual information is intractable in this setting. Our key technical contribution is an adversarial objective that can be used to tractably estimate mutual information assuming only the feasibility of cross entropy calculation. We develop a concrete realization of this general formulation with Markov distributions over binary encodings. We report critical and unexpected findings on practical aspects of the objective such as the choice of variational priors. We apply our model on document hashing and show that it outperforms current best baselines based on straight-through estimators and vector quantization. It also yields highly compressed interpretable representations.

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About ICML 2020

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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