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Exemplar VAE: Linking Generative Models, Nearest Neighbor Retrieval, and Data Augmentation
Sajad Norouzi · David Fleet · Mohammad Norouzi

Wed Dec 09 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 3 #802

We introduce Exemplar VAEs, a family of generative models that bridge the gap between parametric and non-parametric, exemplar based generative models. Exemplar VAE is a variant of VAE with a non-parametric latent prior based on a Parzen window estimator. To sample from it, one first draws a random exemplar from a training set, then stochastically transforms that exemplar into a latent code and a new observation. We propose retrieval augmented training (RAT) as a way to speed up Exemplar VAE training by using approximate nearest neighbor search in the latent space to define a lower bound on log marginal likelihood. To enhance generalization, model parameters are learned using exemplar leave-one-out and subsampling. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of Exemplar VAEs on density estimation and representation learning. Importantly, generative data augmentation using Exemplar VAEs on permutation invariant MNIST and Fashion MNIST reduces classification error from 1.17% to 0.69% and from 8.56% to 8.16%.

Author Information

Sajad Norouzi (University of Toronto / Vector Institute)
David Fleet (University of Toronto)
Mohammad Norouzi (Google Brain)

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