We introduce Interactive Question Answering (IQA), the task of answering questions that require an autonomous agent to interact with a dynamic visual environment. IQA presents the agent with a scene and a question, like: "Are there any apples in the fridge?" The agent must navigate around the scene, acquire visual understanding of scene elements, interact with objects (e.g. open refrigerators) and plan for a series of actions conditioned on the question. Popular reinforcement learning approaches with a single controller perform poorly on IQA owing to the large and diverse state space. We propose the Hierarchical Interactive Memory Network (HIMN), consisting of a factorized set of controllers, allowing the system to operate at multiple levels of temporal abstraction. To evaluate HIMN, we introduce IQUAD V1, a new dataset built upon AI2-THOR, a simulated photo-realistic environment of configurable indoor scenes with interactive objects. IQUAD V1 has 75,000 questions, each paired with a unique scene configuration. Our experiments show that our proposed model outperforms popular single controller based methods on IQUAD V1. For sample questions and results, please view our video: https://youtu.be/pXd3C-1jr98.
In order to answer semantically-complicated questions about an image, a Visual Question Answering (VQA) model needs to fully understand the visual scene in the image, especially the interactive dynamics between different objects. We propose a Relation-aware Graph Attention Network (ReGAT), which encodes each image into a graph and models multi-type inter-object relations via a graph attention mechanism, to learn question-adaptive relation representations. Two types of visual object relations are explored: (i) Explicit Relations that represent geometric positions and semantic interactions between objects; and (ii) Implicit Relations that capture the hidden dynamics between image regions. Experiments demonstrate that ReGAT outperforms prior state-of-the-art approaches on both VQA 2.0 and VQA-CP v2 datasets. We further show that ReGAT is compatible to existing VQA architectures, and can be used as a generic relation encoder to boost the model performance for VQA.
In Visual Question Answering (VQA), answers have a great correlation with question meaning and visual contents. Thus, to selectively utilize image, question and answer information, we propose a novel trilinear interaction model which simultaneously learns high level associations between these three inputs. In addition, to overcome the interaction complexity, we introduce a multimodal tensor-based PARALIND decomposition which efficiently parameterizes trilinear interaction between the three inputs. Moreover, knowledge distillation is first time applied in Free-form Opened-ended VQA. It is not only for reducing the computational cost and required memory but also for transferring knowledge from trilinear interaction model to bilinear interaction model. The extensive experiments on benchmarking datasets TDIUC, VQA-2.0, and Visual7W show that the proposed compact trilinear interaction model achieves state-of-the-art results when using a single model on all three datasets.
We introduce GQA, a new dataset for real-world visual reasoning and compositional question answering, seeking to address key shortcomings of previous VQA datasets. We have developed a strong and robust question engine that leverages scene graph structures to create 22M diverse reasoning questions, all come with functional programs that represent their semantics. We use the programs to gain tight control over the answer distribution and present a new tunable smoothing technique to mitigate question biases. Accompanying the dataset is a suite of new metrics that evaluate essential qualities such as consistency, grounding and plausibility. An extensive analysis is performed for baselines as well as state-of-the-art models, providing fine-grained results for different question types and topologies. Whereas a blind LSTM obtains mere 42.1%, and strong VQA models achieve 54.1%, human performance tops at 89.3%, offering ample opportunity for new research to explore. We strongly hope GQA will provide an enabling resource for the next generation of models with enhanced robustness, improved consistency, and deeper semantic understanding for images and language.
Visual question answering (VQA) demands simultaneous comprehension of both the image visual content and natural language questions. In some cases, the reasoning needs the help of common sense or general knowledge which usually appear in the form of text. Current methods jointly embed both the visual information and the textual feature into the same space. However, how to model the complex interactions between the two different modalities is not an easy task. In contrast to struggling on multimodal feature fusion, in this paper, we propose to unify all the input information by natural language so as to convert VQA into a machine reading comprehension problem. With this transformation, our method not only can tackle VQA datasets that focus on observation based questions, but can also be naturally extended to handle knowledge-based VQA which requires to explore large-scale external knowledge base. It is a step towards being able to exploit large volumes of text and natural language processing techniques to address VQA problem. Two types of models are proposed to deal with open-ended VQA and multiple-choice VQA respectively. We evaluate our models on three VQA benchmarks. The comparable performance with the state-of-the-art demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.
We present QuAC, a dataset for Question Answering in Context that contains 14K information-seeking QA dialogs (100K questions in total). The interactions involve two crowd workers: (1) a student who poses a sequence of freeform questions to learn as much as possible about a hidden Wikipedia text, and (2) a teacher who answers the questions by providing short excerpts from the text. QuAC introduces challenges not found in existing machine comprehension datasets: its questions are often more open-ended, unanswerable, or only meaningful within the dialog context, as we show in a detailed qualitative evaluation. We also report results for a number of reference models, including a recently state-of-the-art reading comprehension architecture extended to model dialog context. Our best model underperforms humans by 20 F1, suggesting that there is significant room for future work on this data. Dataset, baseline, and leaderboard are available at quac.ai.
In this paper, we study the problem of geometric reasoning in the context of question-answering. We introduce Dynamic Spatial Memory Network (DSMN), a new deep network architecture designed for answering questions that admit latent visual representations. DSMN learns to generate and reason over such representations. Further, we propose two synthetic benchmarks, FloorPlanQA and ShapeIntersection, to evaluate the geometric reasoning capability of QA systems. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of our proposed DSMN for visual thinking tasks.
Visual Question Answering (VQA) requires integration of feature maps with drastically different structures and focus of the correct regions. Image descriptors have structures at multiple spatial scales, while lexical inputs inherently follow a temporal sequence and naturally cluster into semantically different question types. A lot of previous works use complex models to extract feature representations but neglect to use high-level information summary such as question types in learning. In this work, we propose Question Type-guided Attention (QTA). It utilizes the information of question type to dynamically balance between bottom-up and top-down visual features, respectively extracted from ResNet and Faster R-CNN networks. We experiment with multiple VQA architectures with extensive input ablation studies over the TDIUC dataset and show that QTA systematically improves the performance by more than 5% across multiple question type categories such as "Activity Recognition", "Utility" and "Counting" on TDIUC dataset. By adding QTA on the state-of-art model MCB, we achieve 3% improvement for overall accuracy. Finally, we propose a multi-task extension to predict question types which generalizes QTA to applications that lack of question type, with minimal performance loss.
Many vision and language tasks require commonsense reasoning beyond data-driven image and natural language processing. Here we adopt Visual Question Answering (VQA) as an example task, where a system is expected to answer a question in natural language about an image. Current state-of-the-art systems attempted to solve the task using deep neural architectures and achieved promising performance. However, the resulting systems are generally opaque and they struggle in understanding questions for which extra knowledge is required. In this paper, we present an explicit reasoning layer on top of a set of penultimate neural network based systems. The reasoning layer enables reasoning and answering questions where additional knowledge is required, and at the same time provides an interpretable interface to the end users. Specifically, the reasoning layer adopts a Probabilistic Soft Logic (PSL) based engine to reason over a basket of inputs: visual relations, the semantic parse of the question, and background ontological knowledge from word2vec and ConceptNet. Experimental analysis of the answers and the key evidential predicates generated on the VQA dataset validate our approach.
We explore deep reinforcement learning methods for multi-agent domains. We begin by analyzing the difficulty of traditional algorithms in the multi-agent case: Q-learning is challenged by an inherent non-stationarity of the environment, while policy gradient suffers from a variance that increases as the number of agents grows. We then present an adaptation of actor-critic methods that considers action policies of other agents and is able to successfully learn policies that require complex multi-agent coordination. Additionally, we introduce a training regimen utilizing an ensemble of policies for each agent that leads to more robust multi-agent policies. We show the strength of our approach compared to existing methods in cooperative as well as competitive scenarios, where agent populations are able to discover various physical and informational coordination strategies.
We propose the task of free-form and open-ended Visual Question Answering (VQA). Given an image and a natural language question about the image, the task is to provide an accurate natural language answer. Mirroring real-world scenarios, such as helping the visually impaired, both the questions and answers are open-ended. Visual questions selectively target different areas of an image, including background details and underlying context. As a result, a system that succeeds at VQA typically needs a more detailed understanding of the image and complex reasoning than a system producing generic image captions. Moreover, VQA is amenable to automatic evaluation, since many open-ended answers contain only a few words or a closed set of answers that can be provided in a multiple-choice format. We provide a dataset containing ~0.25M images, ~0.76M questions, and ~10M answers (www.visualqa.org), and discuss the information it provides. Numerous baselines and methods for VQA are provided and compared with human performance. Our VQA demo is available on CloudCV (http://cloudcv.org/vqa).