A goal-oriented visual dialogue involves multi-turn interactions between two agents, Questioner and Oracle. During which, the answer given by Oracle is of great significance, as it provides golden response to what Questioner concerns. Based on the answer, Questioner updates its belief on target visual content and further raises another question. Notably, different answers drive into different visual beliefs and future questions. However, existing methods always indiscriminately encode answers after much longer questions, resulting in a weak utilization of answers. In this paper, we propose an Answer-Driven Visual State Estimator (ADVSE) to impose the effects of different answers on visual states. First, we propose an Answer-Driven Focusing Attention (ADFA) to capture the answer-driven effect on visual attention by sharpening question-related attention and adjusting it by answer-based logical operation at each turn. Then based on the focusing attention, we get the visual state estimation by Conditional Visual Information Fusion (CVIF), where overall information and difference information are fused conditioning on the question-answer state. We evaluate the proposed ADVSE to both question generator and guesser tasks on the large-scale GuessWhat?! dataset and achieve the state-of-the-art performances on both tasks. The qualitative results indicate that the ADVSE boosts the agent to generate highly efficient questions and obtains reliable visual attentions during the reasonable question generation and guess processes.

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状态估计根据可获取的量测数据估算动态系统内部状态的方法。对系统的输入和输出进行量测而得到的数据只能反映系统的外部特性,而系统的动态规律需要用内部(通常无法直接测量)状态变量来描述。因此状态估计对于了解和控制一个系统具有重要意义。

We consider the problem of Visual Question Answering (VQA). Given an image and a free-form, open-ended, question, expressed in natural language, the goal of VQA system is to provide accurate answer to this question with respect to the image. The task is challenging because it requires simultaneous and intricate understanding of both visual and textual information. Attention, which captures intra- and inter-modal dependencies, has emerged as perhaps the most widely used mechanism for addressing these challenges. In this paper, we propose an improved attention-based architecture to solve VQA. We incorporate an Attention on Attention (AoA) module within encoder-decoder framework, which is able to determine the relation between attention results and queries. Attention module generates weighted average for each query. On the other hand, AoA module first generates an information vector and an attention gate using attention results and current context; and then adds another attention to generate final attended information by multiplying the two. We also propose multimodal fusion module to combine both visual and textual information. The goal of this fusion module is to dynamically decide how much information should be considered from each modality. Extensive experiments on VQA-v2 benchmark dataset show that our method achieves the state-of-the-art performance.

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Fact-based Visual Question Answering (FVQA) requires external knowledge beyond visible content to answer questions about an image, which is challenging but indispensable to achieve general VQA. One limitation of existing FVQA solutions is that they jointly embed all kinds of information without fine-grained selection, which introduces unexpected noises for reasoning the final answer. How to capture the question-oriented and information-complementary evidence remains a key challenge to solve the problem. In this paper, we depict an image by a multi-modal heterogeneous graph, which contains multiple layers of information corresponding to the visual, semantic and factual features. On top of the multi-layer graph representations, we propose a modality-aware heterogeneous graph convolutional network to capture evidence from different layers that is most relevant to the given question. Specifically, the intra-modal graph convolution selects evidence from each modality and cross-modal graph convolution aggregates relevant information across different modalities. By stacking this process multiple times, our model performs iterative reasoning and predicts the optimal answer by analyzing all question-oriented evidence. We achieve a new state-of-the-art performance on the FVQA task and demonstrate the effectiveness and interpretability of our model with extensive experiments.

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Visual question answering (VQA) and image captioning require a shared body of general knowledge connecting language and vision. We present a novel approach to improve VQA performance that exploits this connection by jointly generating captions that are targeted to help answer a specific visual question. The model is trained using an existing caption dataset by automatically determining question-relevant captions using an online gradient-based method. Experimental results on the VQA v2 challenge demonstrates that our approach obtains state-of-the-art VQA performance (e.g. 68.4% on the Test-standard set using a single model) by simultaneously generating question-relevant captions.

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Existing attention mechanisms either attend to local image grid or object level features for Visual Question Answering (VQA). Motivated by the observation that questions can relate to both object instances and their parts, we propose a novel attention mechanism that jointly considers reciprocal relationships between the two levels of visual details. The bottom-up attention thus generated is further coalesced with the top-down information to only focus on the scene elements that are most relevant to a given question. Our design hierarchically fuses multi-modal information i.e., language, object- and gird-level features, through an efficient tensor decomposition scheme. The proposed model improves the state-of-the-art single model performances from 67.9% to 68.2% on VQAv1 and from 65.7% to 67.4% on VQAv2, demonstrating a significant boost.

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A key solution to visual question answering (VQA) exists in how to fuse visual and language features extracted from an input image and question. We show that an attention mechanism that enables dense, bi-directional interactions between the two modalities contributes to boost accuracy of prediction of answers. Specifically, we present a simple architecture that is fully symmetric between visual and language representations, in which each question word attends on image regions and each image region attends on question words. It can be stacked to form a hierarchy for multi-step interactions between an image-question pair. We show through experiments that the proposed architecture achieves a new state-of-the-art on VQA and VQA 2.0 despite its small size. We also present qualitative evaluation, demonstrating how the proposed attention mechanism can generate reasonable attention maps on images and questions, which leads to the correct answer prediction.

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In this paper we aim to answer questions based on images when provided with a dataset of question-answer pairs for a number of images during training. A number of methods have focused on solving this problem by using image based attention. This is done by focusing on a specific part of the image while answering the question. Humans also do so when solving this problem. However, the regions that the previous systems focus on are not correlated with the regions that humans focus on. The accuracy is limited due to this drawback. In this paper, we propose to solve this problem by using an exemplar based method. We obtain one or more supporting and opposing exemplars to obtain a differential attention region. This differential attention is closer to human attention than other image based attention methods. It also helps in obtaining improved accuracy when answering questions. The method is evaluated on challenging benchmark datasets. We perform better than other image based attention methods and are competitive with other state of the art methods that focus on both image and questions.

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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.

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We propose the inverse problem of Visual question answering (iVQA), and explore its suitability as a benchmark for visuo-linguistic understanding. The iVQA task is to generate a question that corresponds to a given image and answer pair. Since the answers are less informative than the questions, and the questions have less learnable bias, an iVQA model needs to better understand the image to be successful than a VQA model. We pose question generation as a multi-modal dynamic inference process and propose an iVQA model that can gradually adjust its focus of attention guided by both a partially generated question and the answer. For evaluation, apart from existing linguistic metrics, we propose a new ranking metric. This metric compares the ground truth question's rank among a list of distractors, which allows the drawbacks of different algorithms and sources of error to be studied. Experimental results show that our model can generate diverse, grammatically correct and content correlated questions that match the given answer.

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Inferring and Executing Programs for Visual Reasoning proposes a model for visual reasoning that consists of a program generator and an execution engine to avoid end-to-end models. To show that the model actually learns which objects to focus on to answer the questions, the authors give a visualization of the norm of the gradient of the sum of the predicted answer scores with respect to the final feature map. However, the authors do not evaluate the efficiency of focus map. This paper purposed a method for evaluating it. We generate several kinds of questions to test different keywords. We infer focus maps from the model by asking these questions and evaluate them by comparing with the segmentation graph. Furthermore, this method can be applied to any model if focus maps can be inferred from it. By evaluating focus map of different models on the CLEVR dataset, we will show that CLEVR-iep model has learned where to focus more than end-to-end models.

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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).

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