Disentangling Factors of Variation by Mixing Them

Qiyang Hu, Attila Szabó, Tiziano Portenier, Paolo Favaro, Matthias Zwicker; Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2018, pp. 3399-3407


We propose an approach to learn image representations that consist of disentangled factors of variation without exploiting any manual labeling or data domain knowledge. A factor of variation corresponds to an image attribute that can be discerned consistently across a set of images, such as the pose or color of objects. Our disentangled representation consists of a concatenation of feature chunks, each chunk representing a factor of variation. It supports applications such as transferring attributes from one image to another, by simply mixing and unmixing feature chunks, and classification or retrieval based on one or several attributes, by considering a user-specified subset of feature chunks. We learn our representation without any labeling or knowledge of the data domain, using an autoencoder architecture with two novel training objectives: first, we propose an invariance objective to encourage that encoding of each attribute, and decoding of each chunk, are invariant to changes in other attributes and chunks, respectively; second, we include a classification objective, which ensures that each chunk corresponds to a consistently discernible attribute in the represented image, hence avoiding degenerate feature mappings where some chunks are completely ignored. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on the MNIST, Sprites, and CelebA datasets.

Related Material

[pdf] [arXiv]
author = {Hu, Qiyang and Szabó, Attila and Portenier, Tiziano and Favaro, Paolo and Zwicker, Matthias},
title = {Disentangling Factors of Variation by Mixing Them},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)},
month = {June},
year = {2018}