Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Robust Variational Autoencoding with Wasserstein Penalty for Novelty Detection

Chieh-Hsin Lai · Dongmian Zou · Gilad Lerman

Auditorium 1 Foyer 163


We propose a new method for novelty detection that can tolerate high corruption of the training points, whereas previous works assumed either no or very low corruption. Our method trains a robust variational autoencoder (VAE), which aims to generate a model for the uncorrupted training points. To gain robustness to high corruption, we incorporate the following four changes to the common VAE: 1. Extracting crucial features of the latent code by a carefully designed dimension reduction component for distributions; 2. Modeling the latent distribution as a mixture of Gaussian low-rank inliers and full-rank outliers, where the testing only uses the inlier model; 3. Applying the Wasserstein-1 metric for regularization, instead of the Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence; and 4. Using a robust error for reconstruction. We establish both robustness to outliers and suitability to low-rank modeling of the Wasserstein metric as opposed to the KL divergence. We illustrate state-of-the-art results on standard benchmarks.

Live content is unavailable. Log in and register to view live content