Capturing statistical regularities in complex, high-dimensional data is an important problem in machine learning and signal processing. Models such as principal component analysis (PCA) and independent component analysis (ICA) make few assumptions about the structure in the data and have good scaling properties, but they are limited to representing linear statistical regularities and assume that the distribution of the data is stationary. For many natural, complex signals, the latent variables often exhibit residual dependencies as well as nonstationary statistics. Here we present a hierarchical Bayesian model that is able to capture higher-order nonlinear structure and represent nonstationary data distributions. The model is a generalization of ICA in which the basis function coefficients are no longer assumed to be independent; instead, the dependencies in their magnitudes are captured by a set of density components. Each density component describes a common pattern of deviation from the marginal density of the pattern ensemble; in different combinations, they can describe nonstationary distributions. Adapting the model to image or audio data yields a nonlinear, distributed code for higher-order statistical regularities that reflect more abstract, invariant properties of the signal.

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