- Jacob Menick
- Nal Kalchbrenner
The unconditional generation of high fidelity images is a longstanding benchmark for testing the performance of image decoders. Autoregressive image models have been able to generate small images unconditionally, but the extension of these methods to large images where fidelity can be more readily assessed has remained an open problem. Among the major challenges are the capacity to encode the vast previous context and the sheer difficulty of learning a distribution that preserves both global semantic coherence and exactness of detail. To address the former challenge, we propose the Subscale Pixel Network (SPN), a conditional decoder architecture that generates an image as a sequence of sub-images of equal size. The SPN compactly captures image-wide spatial dependencies and requires a fraction of the memory and the computation required by other fully autoregressive models. To address the latter challenge, we propose to use Multidimensional Upscaling to grow an image in both size and depth via intermediate stages utilising distinct SPNs. We evaluate SPNs on the unconditional generation of CelebAHQ of size 256 and of ImageNet from size 32 to 256. We achieve state-of-the-art likelihood results in multiple settings, set up new benchmark results in previously unexplored settings and are able to generate very high fidelity large scale samples on the basis of both datasets.