A Heuristic for Unsupervised Model Selection for Variational Disentangled Representation Learning

Abstract

Disentangled representations have recently been shown to improve data efficiency, generalisation, robustness and interpretability in simple supervised and reinforcement learning tasks. To extend such results to more complex domains, it is important to address a major shortcoming of the current state of the art unsupervised disentangling approaches -- high convergence variance, whereby different disentanglement quality may be achieved by the same model depending on its initial state. The existing model selection methods require access to the ground truth attribute labels, which are not available for most datasets. Hence, the benefits of disentangled representations have not yet been fully explored in practical applications. This paper addresses this problem by introducing a simple yet robust and reliable method for unsupervised disentangled model selection. We show that our approach performs comparably to the existing supervised alternatives across 5400 models from six state of the art unsupervised disentangled representation learning model classes.

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