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ReMasker: Imputing Tabular Data with Masked Autoencoding

Tianyu Du · Luca Melis · Ting Wang

Halle B #121
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


We present ReMasker, a new method of imputing missing values in tabular data by extending the masked autoencoding framework. Compared with prior work, ReMasker is extremely simple -- besides the missing values (i.e., naturally masked), we randomly "re-mask" another set of values, optimize the autoencoder by reconstructing this re-masked set, and apply the trained model to predict the missing values; and yet highly effective -- with extensive evaluation on benchmark datasets, we show that ReMasker performs on par with or outperforms state-of-the-art methods in terms of both imputation fidelity and utility under various missingness settings, while its performance advantage often increases with the ratio of missing data. We further explore theoretical justification for its effectiveness, showing that ReMasker tends to learn missingness-invariant representations of tabular data. Our findings indicate that masked modeling represents a promising direction for further research on tabular data imputation. The code is publicly available.

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