Generating more realistic images using gated MRF's

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

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Marc'aurelio Ranzato, Volodymyr Mnih, Geoffrey E. Hinton


Probabilistic models of natural images are usually evaluated by measuring performance on rather indirect tasks, such as denoising and inpainting. A more direct way to evaluate a generative model is to draw samples from it and to check whether statistical properties of the samples match the statistics of natural images. This method is seldom used with high-resolution images, because current models produce samples that are very different from natural images, as assessed by even simple visual inspection. We investigate the reasons for this failure and we show that by augmenting existing models so that there are two sets of latent variables, one set modelling pixel intensities and the other set modelling image-specific pixel covariances, we are able to generate high-resolution images that look much more realistic than before. The overall model can be interpreted as a gated MRF where both pair-wise dependencies and mean intensities of pixels are modulated by the states of latent variables. Finally, we confirm that if we disallow weight-sharing between receptive fields that overlap each other, the gated MRF learns more efficient internal representations, as demonstrated in several recognition tasks.