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Beatrix M. G. Nielsen, Anders Christensen, Andrea Dittadi, Ole Winther

Diffusion models may be viewed as hierarchical variational autoencoders (VAEs) with two improvements: parameter sharing for the conditional distributions in the generative process and efficient computation of the loss as independent terms over the hierarchy. We consider two changes to the diffusion model that retain these advantages while adding flexibility to the model. Firstly, we introduce a data- and depth-dependent mean function in the diffusion process, which leads to a modified diffusion loss. Our proposed framework, DiffEnc, achieves state-of-the-art likelihood on CIFAR-10. Secondly, we let the ratio of the noise variance of the reverse encoder process and the generative process be a free weight parameter rather than being fixed to 1. This leads to theoretical insights: For a finite depth hierarchy, the evidence lower bound (ELBO) can be used as an objective for a weighted diffusion loss approach and for optimizing the noise schedule specifically for inference. For the infinite-depth hierarchy, on the other hand, the weight parameter has to be 1 to have a well-defined ELBO.

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Anders Christensen, Massimiliano Mancini, A. Sophia Koepke, Ole Winther, Zeynep Akata

Zero-shot learning models achieve remarkable results on image classification for samples from classes that were not seen during training. However, such models must be trained from scratch with specialised methods: therefore, access to a training dataset is required when the need for zero-shot classification arises. In this paper, we aim to equip pre-trained models with zero-shot classification capabilities without the use of image data. We achieve this with our proposed Image-free Classifier Injection with Semantics (ICIS) that injects classifiers for new, unseen classes into pre-trained classification models in a post-hoc fashion without relying on image data. Instead, the existing classifier weights and simple class-wise descriptors, such as class names or attributes, are used. ICIS has two encoder-decoder networks that learn to reconstruct classifier weights from descriptors (and vice versa), exploiting (cross-)reconstruction and cosine losses to regularise the decoding process. Notably, ICIS can be cheaply trained and applied directly on top of pre-trained classification models. Experiments on benchmark ZSL datasets show that ICIS produces unseen classifier weights that achieve strong (generalised) zero-shot classification performance. Code is available at https://github.com/ExplainableML/ImageFreeZSL .

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Leander Girrbach, Anders Christensen, Ole Winther, Zeynep Akata, A. Sophia Koepke

Neural Persistence is a prominent measure for quantifying neural network complexity, proposed in the emerging field of topological data analysis in deep learning. In this work, however, we find both theoretically and empirically that the variance of network weights and spatial concentration of large weights are the main factors that impact neural persistence. Whilst this captures useful information for linear classifiers, we find that no relevant spatial structure is present in later layers of deep neural networks, making neural persistence roughly equivalent to the variance of weights. Additionally, the proposed averaging procedure across layers for deep neural networks does not consider interaction between layers. Based on our analysis, we propose an extension of the filtration underlying neural persistence to the whole neural network instead of single layers, which is equivalent to calculating neural persistence on one particular matrix. This yields our deep graph persistence measure, which implicitly incorporates persistent paths through the network and alleviates variance-related issues through standardisation. Code is available at https://github.com/ExplainableML/Deep-Graph-Persistence .

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Valentin Liévin, Andrea Dittadi, Anders Christensen, Ole Winther

This paper introduces novel results for the score function gradient estimator of the importance weighted variational bound (IWAE). We prove that in the limit of large $K$ (number of importance samples) one can choose the control variate such that the Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) of the estimator grows as $\sqrt{K}$. This is in contrast to the standard pathwise gradient estimator where the SNR decreases as $1/\sqrt{K}$. Based on our theoretical findings we develop a novel control variate that extends on VIMCO. Empirically, for the training of both continuous and discrete generative models, the proposed method yields superior variance reduction, resulting in an SNR for IWAE that increases with $K$ without relying on the reparameterization trick. The novel estimator is competitive with state-of-the-art reparameterization-free gradient estimators such as Reweighted Wake-Sleep (RWS) and the thermodynamic variational objective (TVO) when training generative models.

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