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An autoencoder is a type of artificial neural network used to learn efficient data codings in an unsupervised manner. The aim of an autoencoder is to learn a representation (encoding) for a set of data, typically for dimensionality reduction, by training the network to ignore signal “noise”. Along with the reduction side, a reconstructing side is learnt, where the autoencoder tries to generate from the reduced encoding a representation as close as possible to its original input, hence its name. Several variants exist to the basic model, with the aim of forcing the learned representations of the input to assume useful properties. Examples are the regularized autoencoders (Sparse, Denoising and Contractive autoencoders), proven effective in learning representations for subsequent classification tasks, and Variational autoencoders, with their recent applications as generative models. An autoencoder is a type of artificial neural network used to learn efficient data codings in an unsupervised manner. The aim of an autoencoder is to learn a representation (encoding) for a set of data, typically for dimensionality reduction, by training the network to ignore signal “noise”. Along with the reduction side, a reconstructing side is learnt, where the autoencoder tries to generate from the reduced encoding a representation as close as possible to its original input, hence its name. Several variants exist to the basic model, with the aim of forcing the learned representations of the input to assume useful properties. Examples are the regularized autoencoders (Sparse, Denoising and Contractive autoencoders), proven effective in learning representations for subsequent classification tasks, and Variational autoencoders, with their recent applications as generative models. An autoencoder is a neural network that learns to copy its input to its output. It has an internal (hidden) layer that describes a code used to represent the input, and it is constituted by two main parts: an encoder that maps the input into the code, and a decoder that maps the code to a reconstruction of the original input.

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