Symmetry-Based Disentangled Representation Learning requires Interaction with Environments

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Michael Garcia Ortiz, David Filliat


<p>Finding a generally accepted formal definition of a disentangled representation in the context of an agent behaving in an environment is an important challenge towards the construction of data-efficient autonomous agents. Higgins et al. recently proposed Symmetry-Based Disentangled Representation Learning, a definition based on a characterization of symmetries in the environment using group theory. We build on their work and make observations, theoretical and empirical, that lead us to argue that Symmetry-Based Disentangled Representation Learning cannot only be based on static observations: agents should interact with the environment to discover its symmetries. Our experiments can be reproduced in Colab and the code is available on GitHub.</p>