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Lossless compression with latent variable models

Townsend, James; (2021) Lossless compression with latent variable models. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

We develop a simple and elegant method for lossless compression using latent variable models, which we call `bits back with asymmetric numeral systems' (BB-ANS). The method involves interleaving encode and decode steps, and achieves an optimal rate when compressing batches of data. We demonstrate it rstly on the MNIST test set, showing that state-of-the-art lossless compression is possible using a small variational autoencoder (VAE) model. We then make use of a novel empirical insight, that fully convolutional generative models, trained on small images, are able to generalize to images of arbitrary size, and extend BB-ANS to hierarchical latent variable models, enabling state-of-the-art lossless compression of full-size colour images from the ImageNet dataset. We describe `Craystack', a modular software framework which we have developed for rapid prototyping of compression using deep generative models.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Lossless compression with latent variable models
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126530
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