Streaming Adaptive Nonparametric Variational Autoencoder

Tingting Zhao, Zifeng Wang, Aria Masoomi, Jennifer G. Dy

We develop a data driven approach to perform clustering and end-to-end feature learning simultaneously for streaming data that can adaptively detect novel clusters in emerging data. Our approach, Adaptive Nonparametric Variational Autoencoder (AdapVAE), learns the cluster membership through a Bayesian Nonparametric (BNP) modeling framework with Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) for feature learning. We develop a joint online variational inference algorithm to learn feature representations and clustering assignments simultaneously via iteratively optimizing the Evidence Lower Bound (ELBO). We resolve the catastrophic forgetting \citep{kirkpatrick2017overcoming} challenges with streaming data by adopting generative samples from the trained AdapVAE using previous data, which avoids the need of storing and reusing past data. We demonstrate the advantages of our model including adaptive novel cluster detection without discarding useful information learned from past data, high quality sample generation and comparable clustering performance as end-to-end batch mode clustering methods on both image and text corpora benchmark datasets.

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