Tech Report CS-06-14

Learning Invariant Features Using Inertial Priors

Thomas Dean

November 2006


We address the technical challenges involved in combining key features from several theories of the visual cortex in a single coherent model. The resulting model is a hierarchical Bayesian network factored into modular component networks embedding variable-order Markov models. Each component network has an associated receptive field corresponding to components residing in the level directly below it in the hierarchy. The variable-order Markov models account for features that are invariant to naturally occurring transformations in their inputs. These invariant features give rise to increasingly stable, persistent representations as we ascend the hierarchy. The receptive fields of proximate components on the same level overlap to restore selectivity that might otherwise be lost to invariance.

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