Differentiable Sparse Coding

author: David Bradley, Robotics Institute, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University
published: Jan. 15, 2009,   recorded: November 2008,   views: 6832


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Prior work has shown that features which appear to be biologically plausible as well as empirically useful can be found by sparse coding with a prior such as a Laplacian (L1 ) that promotes sparsity. We show how smoother priors can preserve the benefits of these sparse priors while adding stability to the Maximum A-Posteriori (MAP) estimate that makes it more useful for prediction problems. Additionally, we show how to calculate the derivative of the MAP estimate efficiently with implicit differentiation. One prior that can be differentiated this way is KL-regularization. We demonstrate its effectiveness on a wide variety of applications, and find that online optimization of the parameters of the KL-regularized model can significantly improve prediction performance.

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