Recovery of Training Data from Overparameterized Autoencoders: An Inverse Problem Perspective

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Koren Abitbul, Yehuda Dar


We study the recovery of training data from overparameterized autoencoder models. Given a degraded training sample, we define the recovery of the original sample as an inverse problem and formulate it as an optimization task. In our inverse problem, we use the trained autoencoder to implicitly define a regularizer for the particular training dataset that we aim to retrieve from. We develop the intricate optimization task into a practical method that iteratively applies the trained autoencoder and relatively simple computations that estimate and address the unknown degradation operator. We evaluate our method for blind inpainting where the goal is to recover training images from degradation of many missing pixels in an unknown pattern. We examine various deep autoencoder architectures, such as fully connected and U-Net (with various nonlinearities and at diverse train loss values), and show that our method significantly outperforms previous methods for training data recovery from autoencoders. Importantly, our method greatly improves the recovery performance also in settings that were previously considered highly challenging, and even impractical, for such retrieval.

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