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Understanding Latent Correlation-Based Multiview Learning and Self-Supervision: An Identifiability Perspective

Qi Lyu · Xiao Fu · Weiran Wang · Songtao Lu


Multiple views of data, both naturally acquired (e.g., image and audio) and artificially produced (e.g., via adding different noise to data samples), have proven useful in enhancing representation learning. Natural views are often handled by multiview analysis tools, e.g., (deep) canonical correlation analysis [(D)CCA], while the artificial ones are frequently used in self-supervised learning (SSL) paradigms, e.g., BYOL and Barlow Twins. Both types of approaches often involve learning neural feature extractors such that the embeddings of data exhibit high cross-view correlations. Although intuitive, the effectiveness of correlation-based neural embedding is mostly empirically validated. This work aims to understand latent correlation maximization-based deep multiview learning from a latent component identification viewpoint. An intuitive generative model of multiview data is adopted, where the views are different nonlinear mixtures of shared and private components. Since the shared components are view/distortion-invariant, representing the data using such components is believed to reveal the identity of the samples effectively and robustly. Under this model, latent correlation maximization is shown to guarantee the extraction of the shared components across views (up to certain ambiguities). In addition, it is further shown that the private information in each view can be provably disentangled from the shared using proper regularization design. A finite sample analysis, which has been rare in nonlinear mixture identifiability study, is also presented. The theoretical results and newly designed regularization are tested on a series of tasks.

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