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Sparse Feature Learning for Deep Belief Networks
Marc'Aurelio Ranzato · Y-Lan Boureau · Yann LeCun

Mon Dec 03 10:30 AM -- 10:40 AM (PST) @

Unsupervised learning algorithms aim to discover the structure hidden in the data, and to learn representations that are more suitable as input to a supervised machine than the raw input. Many unsupervised methods are based on reconstructing the input from the representation, while constraining the representation to have certain desirable properties (e.g. low dimension, sparsity, etc). Others are based on approximating density by stochastically reconstructing the input from the representation. We describe a novel and efficient algorithm to learn sparse representations, and compare it theoretically and experimentally with a similar machines trained probabilistically, namely a Restricted Boltzmann Machine. We propose a simple criterion to compare and select different unsupervised machines based on the trade-off between the reconstruction error and the information content of the representation. We demonstrate this method by extracting features from a dataset of handwritten numerals, and from a dataset of natural image patches. We show that by stacking multiple levels of such machines and by training sequentially, high-order dependencies between the input variables can be captured.

Author Information

Marc'Aurelio Ranzato (DeepMind)
Y-Lan Boureau (Facebook)
Yann LeCun (Facebook)

Yann LeCun is VP & Chief AI Scientist at Meta and Silver Professor at NYU affiliated with the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences & the Center for Data Science. He was the founding Director of FAIR (Meta's AI Research group) and of the NYU Center for Data Science. He received an Engineering Diploma from ESIEE (Paris) and a PhD from Sorbonne Université. After a postdoc in Toronto he joined AT&T Bell Labs in 1988, and AT&T Labs in 1996 as Head of Image Processing Research. He joined NYU as a professor in 2003 and Facebook in 2013. His interests include AI machine learning, computer perception, robotics and computational neuroscience. He is the recipient of the 2018 ACM Turing Award (with Geoffrey Hinton and Yoshua Bengio) for "conceptual and engineering breakthroughs that have made deep neural networks a critical component of computing", a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.

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