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Jiajun Wu, Chengkai Zhang, Tianfan Xue, William T. Freeman, Joshua B. Tenenbaum. Learning a Probabilistic Latent Space of Object Shapes via 3D Generative-Adversarial Modeling. CoRR, 2016.

Wu et al. propose an extension to the VAE-GAN model [1] to 3D data in order to tackle 3D shape generation and classification. In the VAE-GAN model a variational autoencoder is combined with a generative adversarial network as illsutrated in Figure 1. For details, see [1].


Figure 1 (click to enlarge): Illustration of the VAE-GAN model proposed by Larsen et al. [1] and generalized to 3D data by Wu et al. The variational auto-encoder consisting of encoder and decoder represents the connection between the input $x$ and the latent variables (or the code) $z$. The adversarial generative network combines a generator and a discriminator. The generator tries to generate data and fool the discriminator into believing that the generated data is real. In the VAE-GAN model, the decoder and the generator represent the same model, i.e. share their parameters. Training is performed by minimizing a combination of the losses of both models.

The network architecture used for the generator is illustrated in Figure 2. The discriminator mirrors this structure. The encoder is a convolutional neural network operating on images (not 3D data) consisting of 5 convolutional layers followed by batch normalization and ReLU activation layers. The idea is that the encoder allows to get the latent variables $z$ from a 2D image and then perform 3D reconstruction using the decoder/generator, taking $z$ as input, to generated a 3D shape.


Figure 2 (click to enlarge: Illustration of the network architecture used for the generator. The discriminator mirrors this architecture.

Results of data generation are shown in Figure 3. For visualization, z is sampled form a uniform distribution and the largest connected component is visualized. 3D reconstruction results are demonstrated in Figure 4.


Figure 3 (click to enlarge): Generation results without a reference object.


Figure 3 (click to enlarge): 3D reconstruction results.

  • [1] Anders Boesen Lindbo Larsen, Søren Kaae Sønderby, Ole Winther. Autoencoding beyond pixels using a learned similarity metric. ICML, 2016.

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