Stochastic Bottleneck: Rateless Auto-Encoder for Flexible Dimensionality Reduction

We propose a new concept of rateless auto-encoders (RL-AEs) that enable a flexible latent dimensionality, which can be seamlessly adjusted for varying distortion. In the proposed RL-AEs, instead of a deterministic bottleneck architecture, we use an over-complete representation that is stochastically regularized with weighted dropouts. Our RL-AEs employ monotonically increasing dropout rates across the latent representation nodes such that the latent variables become sorted by importance like in principal component analysis (PCA). This is motivated by the rateless property of conventional PCA, where the least important principal components can be discarded to realize variable rate dimensionality reduction that gracefully degrades the distortion. Our proposed stochastic bottleneck framework enables seamless rate adaptation with high reconstruction performance, without requiring predetermined latent dimensionality at training. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed RL-AEs can achieve variable dimensionality reduction while retaining nearly optimal distortion compared to conventional AEs.


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  •  Koike-Akino, T., Wang, Y., "Stochastic Bottleneck: Rateless Auto-Encoder for Flexible Dimensionality Reduction", arXiv, May 2020.
    BibTeX arXiv
    • @article{Koike-Akino2020may,
    • author = {Koike-Akino, Toshiaki and Wang, Ye},
    • title = {Stochastic Bottleneck: Rateless Auto-Encoder for Flexible Dimensionality Reduction},
    • journal = {arXiv},
    • year = 2020,
    • month = may,
    • url = {}
    • }