Variable-Bitrate Neural Compression via Bayesian Arithmetic Coding

Part of Proceedings of the International Conference on Machine Learning 1 pre-proceedings (ICML 2020)

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Authors

Yibo Yang, Robert Bamler, Stephan Mandt

Abstract

<p>Deep Bayesian latent variable models have enabled new approaches to both model and data compression. Here, we propose a new algorithm for compressing latent representations in deep probabilistic models, such as variational autoencoders, in post-processing. The approach thus separates model design and training from the compression task. Our algorithm generalizes arithmetic coding to the continuous domain, using adaptive discretization accuracy that exploits estimates of posterior uncertainty. A consequence of the "plug and play" nature of our approach is that various rate-distortion trade-offs can be achieved with a single trained model, eliminating the need to train and store multiple models for different bit rates. Our experimental results demonstrate the importance of taking into account posterior uncertainties, and show that image compression with the proposed algorithm outperforms JPEG over a wide range of bit rates using only a single machine learning model. Further experiments on Bayesian neural word embeddings demonstrate the versatility of the proposed method.</p>