Improved Representation Learning Through Tensorized Autoencoders

Pascal Esser, Satyaki Mukherjee, Mahalakshmi Sabanayagam, Debarghya Ghoshdastidar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The central question in representation learning is what constitutes a good or meaningful representation. In this work we argue that if we consider data with inherent cluster structures, where clusters can be characterized through different means and covariances, those data structures should be represented in the embedding as well. While Autoencoders (AE) are widely used in practice for unsupervised representation learning, they do not fulfil the above condition on the embedding as they obtain a single representation of the data. To overcome this we propose a meta-algorithm that can be used to extend an arbitrary AE architecture to a tensorized version (TAE) that allows for learning cluster-specific embeddings while simultaneously learning the cluster assignment. For the linear setting we prove that TAE can recover the principle components of the different clusters in contrast to principle component of the entire data recovered by a standard AE. We validate this on planted models and for general, non-linear and convolutional AEs we empirically illustrate that tensorizing the AE is beneficial in clustering and de-noising tasks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8294-8307
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of Machine Learning Research
StatePublished - 2023
Event26th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, AISTATS 2023 - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 25 Apr 202327 Apr 2023


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