Towards a better global loss landscape of GANs

Ruoyu Sun, Tiantian Fang, Alex Schwing

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Understanding of GAN training is still very limited. One major challenge is its non-convex-non-concave min-max objective, which may lead to sub-optimal local minima. In this work, we perform a global landscape analysis of the empirical loss of GANs. We prove that a class of separable-GAN, including the original JS-GAN, has exponentially many bad basins which are perceived as mode-collapse. We also study the relativistic pairing GAN (RpGAN) loss which couples the generated samples and the true samples. We prove that RpGAN has no bad basins. Experiments on synthetic data show that the predicted bad basin can indeed appear in training. We also perform experiments to support our theory that RpGAN has a better landscape than separable-GAN. For instance, we empirically show that RpGAN performs better than separable-GAN with relatively narrow neural nets. The code is available at

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2020
Event34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 6 2020Dec 12 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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