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On Non-Convex Splitting Methods For Markovian Information Theoretic Representation Learning

posted on 27.04.2022, 01:09 by Teng Hui HuangTeng Hui Huang

In this work, we study a class of Markovian information theoretic optimization problems motivated by the recent interests in incorporating mutual information as performance metrics which gives evident success in representation learning, feature extraction and clustering problems. In particular, we focus on the information bottleneck (IB) and privacy funnel (PF) methods and their recent multi-view, multi-source generalizations that gain attention because the performance significantly improved with multi-view, multi-source data. Nonetheless, the generalized problems challenge existing IB and PF solves in terms of the complexity and their abilities to tackle large-scale data. 

To address this, we study both the IB and PF under a unified framework and propose solving it through splitting methods, including renowned algorithms such as alternating directional method of multiplier (ADMM), Peaceman-Rachford splitting (PRS) and Douglas-Rachford splitting (DRS) as special cases. Our convergence analysis and the locally linear rate of convergence results give rise to new splitting method based IB and PF solvers that can be easily generalized to multi-view IB, multi-source PF. We implement the proposed methods with gradient descent and empirically evaluate the new solvers in both synthetic and real-world datasets. Our numerical results demonstrate improved performance over the state-of-the-art approach with significant reduction in complexity. Furthermore, we consider the practical scenario where there is distribution mismatch between training and testing data generating processes under a known bounded divergence constraint. In analyzing the generalization error, we develop new techniques inspired by the input-output mutual information approach and tighten the existing generalization error bounds.


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Aly El Gamal

Additional Committee Member 2

James S. Lenert

Additional Committee Member 3

Mark R. Bell

Additional Committee Member 4

Murat Kocaoglu