Deep Symmetry Networks

Gens, Robert, Domingos, Pedro M.

Neural Information Processing Systems 

The chief difficulty in object recognition is that objects' classes are obscured by a large number of extraneous sources of variability, such as pose and part deformation. These sources of variation can be represented by symmetry groups, sets of composable transformations that preserve object identity. Convolutional neural networks (convnets) achieve a degree of translational invariance by computing feature maps over the translation group, but cannot handle other groups. As a result, these groups' effects have to be approximated by small translations, which often requires augmenting datasets and leads to high sample complexity. In this paper, we introduce deep symmetry networks (symnets), a generalization of convnets that forms feature maps over arbitrary symmetry groups.