Disentangled Representation Learning

by   Xin Wang, et al.

Disentangled Representation Learning (DRL) aims to learn a model capable of identifying and disentangling the underlying factors hidden in the observable data in representation form. The process of separating underlying factors of variation into variables with semantic meaning benefits in learning explainable representations of data, which imitates the meaningful understanding process of humans when observing an object or relation. As a general learning strategy, DRL has demonstrated its power in improving the model explainability, controlability, robustness, as well as generalization capacity in a wide range of scenarios such as computer vision, natural language processing, data mining etc. In this article, we comprehensively review DRL from various aspects including motivations, definitions, methodologies, evaluations, applications and model designs. We discuss works on DRL based on two well-recognized definitions, i.e., Intuitive Definition and Group Theory Definition. We further categorize the methodologies for DRL into four groups, i.e., Traditional Statistical Approaches, Variational Auto-encoder Based Approaches, Generative Adversarial Networks Based Approaches, Hierarchical Approaches and Other Approaches. We also analyze principles to design different DRL models that may benefit different tasks in practical applications. Finally, we point out challenges in DRL as well as potential research directions deserving future investigations. We believe this work may provide insights for promoting the DRL research in the community.


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