I have been studying about auto-encoders and variational auto-encoders. I would like to know how many variants of VAEs are there today.

If there are many variants, can they be used for feature extraction for complex reinforcement learning tasks like self-driving cars?


1 Answer 1


There are many variations of the original VAE (proposed in the 2013 paper Auto-Encoding Variational Bayes), with different purposes (such as the generation of discrete data or graphs). Of course, I cannot enumerate all of them, so here I will list only the ones I am currently aware of.

VAEs have been used for drug design (see e.g. JT-VAE) and in reinforcement learning (see e.g. world models). I don't know if they have been used for self-driving cars, but it's possible.

  • $\begingroup$ TODO (optional): add links to the implementations. $\endgroup$
    – nbro
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 17:43

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