Latent distance estimation for random geometric graphs

Neural Information Processing Systems

Random geometric graphs are a popular choice for a latent points generative model for networks. The connection probabilities between the nodes are determined by an unknown function (referred to as the link'' function) evaluated at the distance between the latent points. We introduce a spectral estimator of the pairwise distance between latent points and we prove that its rate of convergence is the same as the nonparametric estimation of a function on $\mathbb{S} {d-1}$, up to a logarithmic factor. In addition, we provide an efficient spectral algorithm to compute this estimator without any knowledge on the nonparametric link function. As a byproduct, our method can also consistently estimate the dimension $d$ of the latent space.


Modeling homophily and stochastic equivalence in symmetric relational data

Neural Information Processing Systems

The model, based on the idea of the eigenvalue decomposition, represents the relationship between two nodes as the weighted inner-product of node-specific vectors of latent characteristics. This eigenmodel'' generalizes other popular latent variable models, such as latent class and distance models: It is shown mathematically that any latent class or distance model has a representation as an eigenmodel, but not vice-versa. The practical implications of this are examined in the context of three real datasets, for which the eigenmodel has as good or better out-of-sample predictive performance than the other two models. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.


Geodesic Clustering in Deep Generative Models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Deep generative models are tremendously successful in learning low-dimensional latent representations that well-describe the data. These representations, however, tend to much distort relationships between points, i.e. pairwise distances tend to not reflect semantic similarities well. This renders unsupervised tasks, such as clustering, difficult when working with the latent representations. We demonstrate that taking the geometry of the generative model into account is sufficient to make simple clustering algorithms work well over latent representations. Leaning on the recent finding that deep generative models constitute stochastically immersed Riemannian manifolds, we propose an efficient algorithm for computing geodesics (shortest paths) and computing distances in the latent space, while taking its distortion into account. We further propose a new architecture for modeling uncertainty in variational autoencoders, which is essential for understanding the geometry of deep generative models. Experiments show that the geodesic distance is very likely to reflect the internal structure of the data.


Gaussian mixture models with Wasserstein distance

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Generative models with both discrete and continuous latent variables are highly motivated by the structure of many real-world data sets. They present, however, subtleties in training often manifesting in the discrete latent being under leveraged. In this paper, we show that such models are more amenable to training when using the Optimal Transport framework of Wasserstein Autoencoders. We find our discrete latent variable to be fully leveraged by the model when trained, without any modifications to the objective function or significant fine tuning. Our model generates comparable samples to other approaches while using relatively simple neural networks, since the discrete latent variable carries much of the descriptive burden. Furthermore, the discrete latent provides significant control over generation.


Learning a Warping Distance from Unlabeled Time Series Using Sequence Autoencoders

Neural Information Processing Systems

Measuring similarities between unlabeled time series trajectories is an important problem in many domains such as medicine, economics, and vision. It is often unclear what is the appropriate metric to use because of the complex nature of noise in the trajectories (e.g. different sampling rates or outliers). Experts typically hand-craft or manually select a specific metric, such as Dynamic Time Warping (DTW), to apply on their data. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end framework, autowarp, that optimizes and learns a good metric given unlabeled trajectories. We define a flexible and differentiable family of warping metrics, which encompasses common metrics such as DTW, Edit Distance, Euclidean, etc. Autowarp then leverages the representation power of sequence autoencoders to optimize for a member of this warping family. The output is an metric which is easy to interpret and can be robustly learned from relatively few trajectories. In systematic experiments across different domains, we show that autowarp often outperforms hand-crafted trajectory similarity metrics.