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Continuous Hierarchical Representations with Poincaré Variational Auto-Encoders
Emile Mathieu · Charline Le Lan · Chris Maddison · Ryota Tomioka · Yee Whye Teh

Tue Dec 10 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM (PST) @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #109

The Variational Auto-Encoder (VAE) is a popular method for learning a generative model and embeddings of the data. Many real datasets are hierarchically structured. However, traditional VAEs map data in a Euclidean latent space which cannot efficiently embed tree-like structures. Hyperbolic spaces with negative curvature can. We therefore endow VAEs with a Poincaré ball model of hyperbolic geometry as a latent space and rigorously derive the necessary methods to work with two main Gaussian generalisations on that space. We empirically show better generalisation to unseen data than the Euclidean counterpart, and can qualitatively and quantitatively better recover hierarchical structures.

Author Information

Emile Mathieu (University of Oxford)
Charline Le Lan (University of Oxford)
Chris Maddison (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton)
Ryota Tomioka (Microsoft Research Cambridge)
Yee Whye Teh (University of Oxford, DeepMind)

I am a Professor of Statistical Machine Learning at the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford and a Research Scientist at DeepMind. I am also an Alan Turing Institute Fellow and a European Research Council Consolidator Fellow. I obtained my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto (working with Geoffrey Hinton), and did postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley (with Michael Jordan) and National University of Singapore (as Lee Kuan Yew Postdoctoral Fellow). I was a Lecturer then a Reader at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL, and a tutorial fellow at University College Oxford, prior to my current appointment. I am interested in the statistical and computational foundations of intelligence, and works on scalable machine learning, probabilistic models, Bayesian nonparametrics and deep learning. I was programme co-chair of ICML 2017 and AISTATS 2010.

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