Image captioning is an interdisciplinary research problem that stands between computer vision and natural language processing. The task is to generate a textual description of the content of an image. The typical model used for image captioning is an encoder-decoder deep network, where the encoder captures the essence of an image while the decoder is responsible for generating a sentence describing the image. Attention mechanisms can be used to automatically focus the decoder on parts of the image which are relevant to predict the next word. In this paper, we explore different decoders and attentional models popular in neural machine translation, namely attentional recurrent neural networks, self-attentional transformers, and fully-convolutional networks, which represent the current state of the art of neural machine translation. The image captioning module is available as part of SOCKEYE at https://github.com/awslabs/sockeye which tutorial can be found at https://awslabs.github.io/sockeye/image_captioning.html .
This paper presents a unified Vision-Language Pre-training (VLP) model. The model is unified in that (1) it can be fine-tuned for either vision-language generation (e.g., image captioning) or understanding (e.g., visual question answering) tasks, and (2) it uses a shared multi-layer transformer network for both encoding and decoding, which differs from many existing methods where the encoder and decoder are implemented using separate models. The unified VLP model is pre-trained on a large amount of image-text pairs using the unsupervised learning objectives of two tasks: bidirectional and sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) masked vision-language prediction. The two tasks differ solely in what context the prediction conditions on. This is controlled by utilizing specific self-attention masks for the shared transformer network. To the best of our knowledge, VLP is the first reported model that achieves state-of-the-art results on both vision-language generation and understanding tasks, as disparate as image captioning and visual question answering, across three challenging benchmark datasets: COCO Captions, Flickr30k Captions, and VQA 2.0. The code and the pre-trained models are available at https://github.com/LuoweiZhou/VLP.
Image captioning models are usually evaluated on their ability to describe a held-out set of images, not on their ability to generalize to unseen concepts. We study the problem of compositional generalization, which measures how well a model composes unseen combinations of concepts when describing images. State-of-the-art image captioning models show poor generalization performance on this task. We propose a multi-task model to address the poor performance, that combines caption generation and image--sentence ranking, and uses a decoding mechanism that re-ranks the captions according their similarity to the image. This model is substantially better at generalizing to unseen combinations of concepts compared to state-of-the-art captioning models.
In recent years, the biggest advances in major Computer Vision tasks, such as object recognition, handwritten-digit identification, facial recognition, and many others., have all come through the use of Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). Similarly, in the domain of Natural Language Processing, Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), and Long Short Term Memory networks (LSTMs) in particular, have been crucial to some of the biggest breakthroughs in performance for tasks such as machine translation, part-of-speech tagging, sentiment analysis, and many others. These individual advances have greatly benefited tasks even at the intersection of NLP and Computer Vision, and inspired by this success, we studied some existing neural image captioning models that have proven to work well. In this work, we study some existing captioning models that provide near state-of-the-art performances, and try to enhance one such model. We also present a simple image captioning model that makes use of a CNN, an LSTM, and the beam search1 algorithm, and study its performance based on various qualitative and quantitative metrics.
The recent advances of deep learning in both computer vision (CV) and natural language processing (NLP) provide us a new way of understanding semantics, by which we can deal with more challenging tasks such as automatic description generation from natural images. In this challenge, the encoder-decoder framework has achieved promising performance when a convolutional neural network (CNN) is used as image encoder and a recurrent neural network (RNN) as decoder. In this paper, we introduce a sequential guiding network that guides the decoder during word generation. The new model is an extension of the encoder-decoder framework with attention that has an additional guiding long short-term memory (LSTM) and can be trained in an end-to-end manner by using image/descriptions pairs. We validate our approach by conducting extensive experiments on a benchmark dataset, i.e., MS COCO Captions. The proposed model achieves significant improvement comparing to the other state-of-the-art deep learning models.
Recently, much advance has been made in image captioning, and an encoder-decoder framework has been adopted by all the state-of-the-art models. Under this framework, an input image is encoded by a convolutional neural network (CNN) and then translated into natural language with a recurrent neural network (RNN). The existing models counting on this framework merely employ one kind of CNNs, e.g., ResNet or Inception-X, which describe image contents from only one specific view point. Thus, the semantic meaning of an input image cannot be comprehensively understood, which restricts the performance of captioning. In this paper, in order to exploit the complementary information from multiple encoders, we propose a novel Recurrent Fusion Network (RFNet) for tackling image captioning. The fusion process in our model can exploit the interactions among the outputs of the image encoders and then generate new compact yet informative representations for the decoder. Experiments on the MSCOCO dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed RFNet, which sets a new state-of-the-art for image captioning.
Neural machine translation (NMT) systems are usually trained on a large amount of bilingual sentence pairs and translate one sentence at a time, ignoring inter-sentence information. This may make the translation of a sentence ambiguous or even inconsistent with the translations of neighboring sentences. In order to handle this issue, we propose an inter-sentence gate model that uses the same encoder to encode two adjacent sentences and controls the amount of information flowing from the preceding sentence to the translation of the current sentence with an inter-sentence gate. In this way, our proposed model can capture the connection between sentences and fuse recency from neighboring sentences into neural machine translation. On several NIST Chinese-English translation tasks, our experiments demonstrate that the proposed inter-sentence gate model achieves substantial improvements over the baseline.
We describe Sockeye (version 1.12), an open-source sequence-to-sequence toolkit for Neural Machine Translation (NMT). Sockeye is a production-ready framework for training and applying models as well as an experimental platform for researchers. Written in Python and built on MXNet, the toolkit offers scalable training and inference for the three most prominent encoder-decoder architectures: attentional recurrent neural networks, self-attentional transformers, and fully convolutional networks. Sockeye also supports a wide range of optimizers, normalization and regularization techniques, and inference improvements from current NMT literature. Users can easily run standard training recipes, explore different model settings, and incorporate new ideas. In this paper, we highlight Sockeye's features and benchmark it against other NMT toolkits on two language arcs from the 2017 Conference on Machine Translation (WMT): English-German and Latvian-English. We report competitive BLEU scores across all three architectures, including an overall best score for Sockeye's transformer implementation. To facilitate further comparison, we release all system outputs and training scripts used in our experiments. The Sockeye toolkit is free software released under the Apache 2.0 license.
Neural sequence-to-sequence networks with attention have achieved remarkable performance for machine translation. One of the reasons for their effectiveness is their ability to capture relevant source-side contextual information at each time-step prediction through an attention mechanism. However, the target-side context is solely based on the sequence model which, in practice, is prone to a recency bias and lacks the ability to capture effectively non-sequential dependencies among words. To address this limitation, we propose a target-side-attentive residual recurrent network for decoding, where attention over previous words contributes directly to the prediction of the next word. The residual learning facilitates the flow of information from the distant past and is able to emphasize any of the previously translated words, hence it gains access to a wider context. The proposed model outperforms a neural MT baseline as well as a memory and self-attention network on three language pairs. The analysis of the attention learned by the decoder confirms that it emphasizes a wider context, and that it captures syntactic-like structures.
Machine translation is a popular test bed for research in neural sequence-to-sequence models but despite much recent research, there is still a lack of understanding of these models. Practitioners report performance degradation with large beams, the under-estimation of rare words and a lack of diversity in the final translations. Our study relates some of these issues to the inherent uncertainty of the task, due to the existence of multiple valid translations for a single source sentence, and to the extrinsic uncertainty caused by noisy training data. We propose tools and metrics to assess how uncertainty in the data is captured by the model distribution and how it affects search strategies that generate translations. Our results show that search works remarkably well but that the models tend to spread too much probability mass over the hypothesis space. Next, we propose tools to assess model calibration and show how to easily fix some shortcomings of current models. We release both code and multiple human reference translations for two popular benchmarks.
Automatically creating the description of an image using any natural languages sentence like English is a very challenging task. It requires expertise of both image processing as well as natural language processing. This paper discuss about different available models for image captioning task. We have also discussed about how the advancement in the task of object recognition and machine translation has greatly improved the performance of image captioning model in recent years. In addition to that we have discussed how this model can be implemented. In the end, we have also evaluated the performance of model using standard evaluation matrices.