Learning Disentangled Representation with Pairwise Independence

  • Zejian Li Zhejiang University
  • Yongchuan Tang Zhejiang University
  • Wei Li Zhejiang University
  • Yongxing He Zhejiang University


Unsupervised disentangled representation learning is one of the foundational methods to learn interpretable factors in the data. Existing learning methods are based on the assumption that disentangled factors are mutually independent and incorporate this assumption with the evidence lower bound. However, our experiment reveals that factors in real-world data tend to be pairwise independent. Accordingly, we propose a new method based on a pairwise independence assumption to learn the disentangled representation. The evidence lower bound implicitly encourages mutual independence of latent codes so it is too strong for our assumption. Therefore, we introduce another lower bound in our method. Extensive experiments show that our proposed method gives competitive performances as compared with other state-of-the-art methods.

AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning