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Don't Play Favorites: Minority Guidance for Diffusion Models

Soobin Um · Suhyeon Lee · Jong Chul YE

Halle B #40
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Tue 7 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


We explore the problem of generating minority samples using diffusion models. The minority samples are instances that lie on low-density regions of a data manifold. Generating a sufficient number of such minority instances is important, since they often contain some unique attributes of the data. However, the conventional generation process of the diffusion models mostly yields majority samples (that lie on high-density regions of the manifold) due to their high likelihoods, making themselves ineffective and time-consuming for the minority generating task. In this work, we present a novel framework that can make the generation process of the diffusion models focus on the minority samples. We first highlight that Tweedie's denoising formula yields favorable results for majority samples. The observation motivates us to introduce a metric that describes the uniqueness of a given sample. To address the inherent preference of the diffusion models w.r.t. the majority samples, we further develop minority guidance, a sampling technique that can guide the generation process toward regions with desired likelihood levels. Experiments on benchmark real datasets demonstrate that our minority guidance can greatly improve the capability of generating high-quality minority samples over existing generative samplers. We showcase that the performance benefit of our framework persists even in demanding real-world scenarios such as medical imaging, further underscoring the practical significance of our work. Code is available at

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