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Spotlight Poster

Tree Variational Autoencoders

Laura Manduchi · Moritz Vandenhirtz · Alain Ryser · Julia Vogt

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #544
[ ] [ Project Page ]
[ Paper [ Poster [ OpenReview
Wed 13 Dec 3 p.m. PST — 5 p.m. PST


We propose Tree Variational Autoencoder (TreeVAE), a new generative hierarchical clustering model that learns a flexible tree-based posterior distribution over latent variables. TreeVAE hierarchically divides samples according to their intrinsic characteristics, shedding light on hidden structures in the data. It adapts its architecture to discover the optimal tree for encoding dependencies between latent variables. The proposed tree-based generative architecture enables lightweight conditional inference and improves generative performance by utilizing specialized leaf decoders. We show that TreeVAE uncovers underlying clusters in the data and finds meaningful hierarchical relations between the different groups on a variety of datasets, including real-world imaging data. We present empirically that TreeVAE provides a more competitive log-likelihood lower bound than the sequential counterparts. Finally, due to its generative nature, TreeVAE is able to generate new samples from the discovered clusters via conditional sampling.

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