Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)
Lei Xu, Maria Skoularidou, Alfredo Cuesta-Infante, Kalyan Veeramachaneni
Modeling the probability distribution of rows in tabular data and generating realistic synthetic data is a non-trivial task. Tabular data usually contains a mix of discrete and continuous columns. Continuous columns may have multiple modes whereas discrete columns are sometimes imbalanced making the modeling difficult. Existing statistical and deep neural network models fail to properly model this type of data. We design CTGAN, which uses a conditional generative adversarial network to address these challenges. To aid in a fair and thorough comparison, we design a benchmark with 7 simulated and 8 real datasets and several Bayesian network baselines. CTGAN outperforms Bayesian methods on most of the real datasets whereas other deep learning methods could not.