Regularizing Generative Models Using Knowledge of Feature Dependence

Naoya Takeishi, Yoshinobu Kawahara

Generative modeling is a fundamental problem in machine learning with many potential applications. Efficient learning of generative models requires available prior knowledge to be exploited as much as possible. In this paper, we propose a method to exploit prior knowledge of relative dependence between features for learning generative models. Such knowledge is available, for example, when side-information on features is present. We incorporate the prior knowledge by forcing marginals of the learned generative model to follow a prescribed relative feature dependence. To this end, we formulate a regularization term using a kernel-based dependence criterion. The proposed method can be incorporated straightforwardly into many optimization-based learning schemes of generative models, including variational autoencoders and generative adversarial networks. We show the effectiveness of the proposed method in experiments with multiple types of datasets and models.

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