Robust Feature Disentanglement in Imaging Data via Joint Invariant Variational Autoencoders: from Cards to Atoms. (arXiv:2104.10180v1 [])

Recent advances in imaging from celestial objects in astronomy visualized via
optical and radio telescopes to atoms and molecules resolved via electron and
probe microscopes are generating immense volumes of imaging data, containing
information about the structure of the universe from atomic to astronomic
levels. The classical deep convolutional neural network architectures
traditionally perform poorly on the data sets having a significant
orientational disorder, that is, having multiple copies of the same or similar
object in arbitrary orientation in the image plane. Similarly, while clustering
methods are well suited for classification into discrete classes and manifold
learning and variational autoencoders methods can disentangle representations
of the data, the combined problem is ill-suited to a classical non-supervised
learning paradigm. Here we introduce a joint rotationally (and translationally)
invariant variational autoencoder (j-trVAE) that is ideally suited to the
solution of such a problem. The performance of this method is validated on
several synthetic data sets and extended to high-resolution imaging data of
electron and scanning probe microscopy. We show that latent space behaviors
directly comport to the known physics of ferroelectric materials and quantum
systems. We further note that the engineering of the latent space structure via
imposed topological structure or directed graph relationship allows for
applications in topological discovery and causal physical learning.



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