Capsules: Alternative to Pooling

Recently, Geoffrey Hinton and his colleagues made the article about capsules available. He has been known to heavily criticize the use of pooling and back propagation.

“A capsule is a group of neurons whose activity vector represents the instantiation parameters of a specific type of entity such as an object or object part.” The nodes of inputs and outputs are vectors, instead of scalars as in neural networks. A cheat sheet comparing the traditional neurons and capsules is as follow:


Based on the capsule, the authors suggested a new type of layer called CapsNet.

Huadong Liao implemented CapsNet with TensorFlow according to the paper. (Refer to his repository.)

  • Sara Sabour, Nicholas Frosst, Geoffrey E Hinton, “Dynamic Routing Between Capsules,” arXiv:1710.09829 (2017). [arXiv]
  • “浅析 Hinton 最近提出的 Capsule 计划” (2017). [Zhihu] (in Chinese)
  • “如何看待Hinton的论文《Dynamic Routing Between Capsules》?” (2017) [Zhihu] (in Chinese)
  • Github: naturomics/CapsNet-Tensorflow [Github]
  • Nick Bourdakos, “Capsule Networks Are Shaking up AI — Here’s How to Use Them,” Medium (2017). [Medium]

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