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Diffusion Based Representation Learning
Sarthak Mittal · Korbinian Abstreiter · Stefan Bauer · Bernhard Schölkopf · Arash Mehrjou

Thu Jul 27 01:30 PM -- 03:00 PM (PDT) @ Exhibit Hall 1 #637

Diffusion-based methods, represented as stochastic differential equations on a continuous-time domain, have recently proven successful as non-adversarial generative models. Training such models relies on denoising score matching, which can be seen as multi-scale denoising autoencoders. Here, we augment the denoising score matching framework to enable representation learning without any supervised signal. GANs and VAEs learn representations by directly transforming latent codes to data samples. In contrast, the introduced diffusion-based representation learning relies on a new formulation of the denoising score matching objective and thus encodes the information needed for denoising. We illustrate how this difference allows for manual control of the level of details encoded in the representation. Using the same approach, we propose to learn an infinite-dimensional latent code that achieves improvements on state-of-the-art models on semi-supervised image classification. We also compare the quality of learned representations of diffusion score matching with other methods like autoencoder and contrastively trained systems through their performances on downstream tasks. Finally, we also ablate with a different SDE formulation for diffusion models and show that the benefits on downstream tasks are still present on changing the underlying differential equation.

Author Information

Sarthak Mittal (Mila)
Korbinian Abstreiter (ETH Zurich)
Stefan Bauer (KTH Stockholm)
Bernhard Schölkopf (MPI for Intelligent Systems Tübingen, Germany)

Bernhard Scholkopf received degrees in mathematics (London) and physics (Tubingen), and a doctorate in computer science from the Technical University Berlin. He has researched at AT&T Bell Labs, at GMD FIRST, Berlin, at the Australian National University, Canberra, and at Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK). In 2001, he was appointed scientific member of the Max Planck Society and director at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics; in 2010 he founded the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. For further information, see www.kyb.tuebingen.mpg.de/~bs.

Arash Mehrjou (GlaxoSmithKlein)

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