Unsupervised learning via maximizing mutual information in neural population coding

Wentao Huang, Kai Liu, Kechen Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Shannon's information theory is a widely used tool for many applications including statistical inference, natural language processing, thermal physics, pattern recognition and neuroscience etc. However, it is a big challenge to effectively calculate the mutual information (MI) for these applications. In this paper, we propose an effective asymptotic bounds and approximation for evaluating MI in the context of neural population coding, especially for the case of high-dimensional inputs. Based on that, an unsupervised framework is presented to learn representations, e.g, complete, overcomplete or un-dercomplete bases from the input datasets. Our experiments on MNIST digits image and natural image patches data sets showed robustness and efficiency for extracting salient features compared to existing methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSS-17-01
Subtitle of host publicationArtificial Intelligene for the Social Good; SS-17-02: Computational Construction Grammar and Natural Language Understanding; SS-17-03: Computational Context: Why It's Important, What It Means, and Can It Be Computed?; SS-17-04: Designing the User Experience of Machine Learning Systems; SS-17-05: Interactive Multisensory Object Perception for Embodied Agents; SS-17-06: Learning from Observation of Humans; SS-17-07: Science of Intelligence: Computational Principles of Natural and Artificial Intelligence; SS-17-08: Wellbeing AI: From Machine Learning to Subjectivity Oriented Computing
PublisherAI Access Foundation
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781577357797
StatePublished - 2017
Event2017 AAAI Spring Symposium - Stanford, United States
Duration: Mar 27 2017Mar 29 2017

Publication series

NameAAAI Spring Symposium - Technical Report
VolumeSS-17-01 - SS-17-08


Other2017 AAAI Spring Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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