Adversarial Text Generation via Feature-Mover's Distance

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Authors

Liqun Chen, Shuyang Dai, Chenyang Tao, Haichao Zhang, Zhe Gan, Dinghan Shen, Yizhe Zhang, Guoyin Wang, Ruiyi Zhang, Lawrence Carin

Abstract

Generative adversarial networks (GANs) have achieved significant success in generating real-valued data. However, the discrete nature of text hinders the application of GAN to text-generation tasks. Instead of using the standard GAN objective, we propose to improve text-generation GAN via a novel approach inspired by optimal transport. Specifically, we consider matching the latent feature distributions of real and synthetic sentences using a novel metric, termed the feature-mover's distance (FMD). This formulation leads to a highly discriminative critic and easy-to-optimize objective, overcoming the mode-collapsing and brittle-training problems in existing methods. Extensive experiments are conducted on a variety of tasks to evaluate the proposed model empirically, including unconditional text generation, style transfer from non-parallel text, and unsupervised cipher cracking. The proposed model yields superior performance, demonstrating wide applicability and effectiveness.