Collaborative Training of GANs in Continuous and Discrete Spaces for Text Generation

IEEE Access

Published December 16, 2020

Yanghoon Kim, Seungpil Won, David Seunghyun Yoon, Kyomin Jung

Applying generative adversarial networks (GANs) to text-related tasks is challenging due to the discrete nature of language. One line of research resolves this issue by employing reinforcement learning (RL) and optimizing the next-word sampling policy directly in a discrete action space. Such methods compute the rewards from complete sentences and avoid error accumulation due to exposure bias. Other approaches employ approximation techniques that map the text to continuous representation in order to circumvent the non-differentiable discrete process. Particularly, autoencoder-based methods effectively produce robust representations that can model complex discrete structures. In this paper, we propose a novel text GAN architecture that promotes the collaborative training of the continuous-space and discrete-space methods. Our method employs an autoencoder to learn an implicit data manifold, providing a learning objective for adversarial training in a continuous space. Furthermore, the complete textual output is directly evaluated and updated via RL in a discrete space. The collaborative interplay between the two adversarial trainings effectively regularize the text representations in different spaces. The experimental results on three standard benchmark datasets show that our model substantially outperforms state-of-the-art text GANs with respect to quality, diversity, and global consistency.

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