Hyperbolic VAE via Latent Gaussian Distributions

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Seunghyuk Cho, Juyong Lee, Dongwoo Kim


We propose a Gaussian manifold variational auto-encoder (GM-VAE) whose latent space consists of a set of Gaussian distributions. It is known that the set of the univariate Gaussian distributions with the Fisher information metric form a hyperbolic space, which we call a Gaussian manifold. To learn the VAE endowed with the Gaussian manifolds, we propose a pseudo-Gaussian manifold normal distribution based on the Kullback-Leibler divergence, a local approximation of the squared Fisher-Rao distance, to define a density over the latent space. We demonstrate the efficacy of GM-VAE on two different tasks: density estimation of image datasets and state representation learning for model-based reinforcement learning. GM-VAE outperforms the other variants of hyperbolic- and Euclidean-VAEs on density estimation tasks and shows competitive performance in model-based reinforcement learning. We observe that our model provides strong numerical stability, addressing a common limitation reported in previous hyperbolic-VAEs. The implementation is available at https://github.com/ml-postech/GM-VAE.