### #bunker

### Autoencoders in function space

Justin Bunker, Mark Girolami, Hefin Lambley, Andrew Stuart and I have just uploaded a preprint of our paper “Autoencoders in function space” to the arXiv.

**Abstract.** Autoencoders have found widespread application, in both their original deterministic form and in their variational formulation (VAEs). In scientific applications it is often of interest to consider data that are comprised of functions; the same perspective is useful in image processing. In practice, discretisation (of differential equations arising in the sciences) or pixellation (of images) renders problems finite dimensional, but conceiving first of algorithms that operate on functions, and only then discretising or pixellating, leads to better algorithms that smoothly operate between different levels of discretisation or pixellation. In this paper function-space versions of the autoencoder (FAE) and variational autoencoder (FVAE) are introduced, analysed, and deployed. Well-definedness of the objective function governing VAEs is a subtle issue, even in finite dimension, and more so on function space. The FVAE objective is well defined whenever the data distribution is compatible with the chosen generative model; this happens, for example, when the data arise from a stochastic differential equation. The FAE objective is valid much more broadly, and can be straightforwardly applied to data governed by differential equations. Pairing these objectives with neural operator architectures, which can thus be evaluated on any mesh, enables new applications of autoencoders to inpainting, superresolution, and generative modelling of scientific data.

Published on Monday 5 August 2024 at 12:00 UTC #preprint #bunker #girolami #lambley #stuart #autoencoders