Video Prediction à la Fourier

Video frame prediction is a very challenging problem. Many recent neural network based solution-attempts trained using a mean squared error lead to blurry predictions. My most recent paper currently under review proposes to use Phase correlation and the Fourier-Shift theorem estimate changes and transform current images into predictions. A demo is shown below. The video shows ground truth (left), shift prediction (middle) and an off the shelf GRU prediction (right).

Source code is available on github .

A more detailed description is available in the paper .

Complex Recurrent Neural Nets

The paper Complex gated recurrent neural networks explores machine learning in the complex domain. For gradient descent to work the functions involved must be differentiable. In the complex domain holomorphic functions, which satisfy the Cauchy-Riemann partial differential equations are differentiable. Finding functions which fulfill this requirement and are useful for machine learning tasks is very difficult. In practice split differentiable complex functions are used which are real differentiable in the real and complex parts. This is true for the two most popular complex activation functions the ModRelu and the Hirose non-linearites shown below:

Modern RNNs rely on gating equations for memory management. Typically the gates produce values between zero and one, where one means that a value will be stored in the memory cell and zero that it will be removed. In the complex domain this behavior can be reproduced by using mappings from C to R, in particular a weighted average of the real and imaginary parts can be fed into a sigmoid non-linearity.

Using the split differentiable approach with a hirose activation and C to R gates its possible to define complex memory cells. The plot below tests their performance on the synthetic memory and adding benchmark problems.

In short it can be observed that the complex gated cell can solve both the memory as well as the adding problem, when it combines the complex orthogonal structures from uRNNs with a gating mechanism similar to classic RNNs. For a more detailed discussion please take a look at the full paper

Below a complex memory unit solving the human motion prediction problem can be seen in action:

A complex gru cell solving the human motion prediction problem.

The code for this project is available on Github. I tested the complex memory cell on human motion data using a setting following this repository.


Fourier methods have a long and proven track record as an excellent tool in data processing. Integrating Fourier methods into complex recurrent neural network architectures is therefore an important goal. I integrated the short-time Fourier transform into a recurrent (complex-valued) network structure. This helps when dealing with hard prediction tasks such as human motion prediction, a demo paper and code are available.