Introducing Routing Uncertainty in Capsule Networks

Fabio De Sousa Ribeiro, Georgios Leontidis, Stefanos Kollias

Research output: Contribution to conferenceUnpublished paperpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
410 Downloads (Pure)


Rather than performing inefficient local iterative routing between adjacent capsule layers, we propose an alternative global view based on representing the inherent uncertainty in part-object assignment. In our formulation, the local routing iterations are replaced with variational inference of part-object connections in a probabilistic capsule network, leading to a significant speedup without sacrificing performance. In this way, global context is also considered when routing capsules by introducing global latent variables that have direct influence on the objective function, and are updated discriminatively in accordance with the minimum description length (MDL) principle. We focus on enhancing capsule network properties, and perform a thorough evaluation on pose-aware tasks, observing improvements in performance over previous approaches whilst being more computationally efficient.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020
Event34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2020) - Virtual, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 6 Dec 202012 Dec 2020


Conference34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2020)
Abbreviated titleNeurIPS
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Final version has been uploaded and can be made publicly available. The NeurIPS conference does not require or involve any copyright transfer and all proceedings are made available without restrictions via

Pre-proceedings online -
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)
Edited by: H. Larochelle and M. Ranzato and R. Hadsell and M.F. Balcan and H. Lin


  • Deep Learning
  • Capsule Networks


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