Group Sparse Coding with a Laplacian Scale Mixture Prior

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Pierre Garrigues, Bruno Olshausen


We propose a class of sparse coding models that utilizes a Laplacian Scale Mixture (LSM) prior to model dependencies among coefficients. Each coefficient is modeled as a Laplacian distribution with a variable scale parameter, with a Gamma distribution prior over the scale parameter. We show that, due to the conjugacy of the Gamma prior, it is possible to derive efficient inference procedures for both the coefficients and the scale parameter. When the scale parameters of a group of coefficients are combined into a single variable, it is possible to describe the dependencies that occur due to common amplitude fluctuations among coefficients, which have been shown to constitute a large fraction of the redundancy in natural images. We show that, as a consequence of this group sparse coding, the resulting inference of the coefficients follows a divisive normalization rule, and that this may be efficiently implemented a network architecture similar to that which has been proposed to occur in primary visual cortex. We also demonstrate improvements in image coding and compressive sensing recovery using the LSM model.