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Is Generator Conditioning Causally Related to GAN Performance

Augustus Odena
Jacob Buckman
Catherine Olsson
Tom Brown
Christopher Olah
Colin Raffel
Ian Goodfellow
ICML (2018)


Recent work suggests that controlling the entire distribution of Jacobian singular values is an important design consideration in deep learning. Motivated by this, we study the distribution of singular values of the Jacobian of the generator in Generative Adversarial Networks. We find that this Jacobian generally becomes ill-conditioned at the beginning of training. Moreover, we find that the average (across the latent space) conditioning of the generator is highly predictive of two other ad-hoc metrics for measuring the “quality” of trained GANs: the Inception Score and the Frechet Inception Distance. We then test the hypothesis that this relationship is causal by proposing a “regularization” technique (called Jacobian Clamping) that softly penalizes the condition number of the generator Jacobian. Jacobian Clamping improves the mean score for nearly all datasets on which we tested it. It also greatly reduces inter-run variance of the aforementioned scores, addressing (at least partially )one of the main criticisms of GANs.

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