The bits-back argument suggests that latent variable models can be turned into lossless compression schemes. Translating the bits-back argument into efficient and practical lossless compression schemes for general latent variable models, however, is still an open problem. Bits-Back with Asymmetric Numeral Systems (BB-ANS), recently proposed by Townsend et al. (2019), makes bits-back coding practically feasible for latent variable models with one latent layer, but it is inefficient for hierarchical latent variable models. In this paper we propose Bit-Swap, a new compression scheme that generalizes BB-ANS and achieves strictly better compression rates for hierarchical latent variable models with Markov chain structure. Through experiments we verify that Bit-Swap results in lossless compression rates that are empirically superior to existing techniques. Our implementation is available at https://github.com/fhkingma/bitswap.
05/16/2019 ∙ by Friso H. Kingma, et al. ∙ 11 ∙ share
Friso H. Kingmais this you? claim profile