Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20 (NIPS 2007)
We address the problem of factorial learning which associates a set of latent causes or features with the observed data. Factorial models usually assume that each feature has a single occurrence in a given data point. However, there are data such as images where latent features have multiple occurrences, e.g. a visual object class can have multiple instances shown in the same image. To deal with such cases, we present a probability model over non-negative integer valued matrices with possibly unbounded number of columns. This model can play the role of the prior in an nonparametric Bayesian learning scenario where both the latent features and the number of their occurrences are unknown. We use this prior together with a likelihood model for unsupervised learning from images using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo inference algorithm.