# Distributional Principal Autoencoders

CoRR（2024）

摘要

Dimension reduction techniques usually lose information in the sense that
reconstructed data are not identical to the original data. However, we argue
that it is possible to have reconstructed data identically distributed as the
original data, irrespective of the retained dimension or the specific mapping.
This can be achieved by learning a distributional model that matches the
conditional distribution of data given its low-dimensional latent variables.
Motivated by this, we propose Distributional Principal Autoencoder (DPA) that
consists of an encoder that maps high-dimensional data to low-dimensional
latent variables and a decoder that maps the latent variables back to the data
space. For reducing the dimension, the DPA encoder aims to minimise the
unexplained variability of the data with an adaptive choice of the latent
dimension. For reconstructing data, the DPA decoder aims to match the
conditional distribution of all data that are mapped to a certain latent value,
thus ensuring that the reconstructed data retains the original data
distribution. Our numerical results on climate data, single-cell data, and
image benchmarks demonstrate the practical feasibility and success of the
approach in reconstructing the original distribution of the data. DPA
embeddings are shown to preserve meaningful structures of data such as the
seasonal cycle for precipitations and cell types for gene expression.

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