Diffusion Models: A Comprehensive Survey of Methods and Applications

by   Ling Yang, et al.

Diffusion models are a class of deep generative models that have shown impressive results on various tasks with dense theoretical founding. Although diffusion models have achieved impressive quality and diversity of sample synthesis than other state-of-the-art models, they still suffer from costly sampling procedure and sub-optimal likelihood estimation. Recent studies have shown great enthusiasm on improving the performance of diffusion model. In this article, we present a first comprehensive review of existing variants of the diffusion models. Specifically, we provide a first taxonomy of diffusion models and categorize them variants to three types, namely sampling-acceleration enhancement, likelihood-maximization enhancement and data-generalization enhancement. We also introduce in detail other five generative models (i.e., variational autoencoders, generative adversarial networks, normalizing flow, autoregressive models, and energy-based models), and clarify the connections between diffusion models and these generative models. Then we make a thorough investigation into the applications of diffusion models, including computer vision, natural language processing, waveform signal processing, multi-modal modeling, molecular graph generation, time series modeling, and adversarial purification. Furthermore, we propose new perspectives pertaining to the development of this generative model.


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