We marry two powerful ideas: deep representation learning for visual recognition and language understanding, and symbolic program execution for reasoning. Our neural-symbolic visual question answering (NS-VQA) system first recovers a structural scene representation from the image and a program trace from the question. It then executes the program on the scene representation to obtain an answer. Incorporating symbolic structure as prior knowledge offers three unique advantages. First, executing programs on a symbolic space is more robust to long program traces; our model can solve complex reasoning tasks better, achieving an accuracy of 99.8% on the CLEVR dataset. Second, the model is more data- and memory-efficient: it performs well after learning on a small number of training data; it can also encode an image into a compact representation, requiring less storage than existing methods for offline question answering. Third, symbolic program execution offers full transparency to the reasoning process; we are thus able to interpret and diagnose each execution step.
Answering questions that require reading texts in an image is challenging for current models. One key difficulty of this task is that rare, polysemous, and ambiguous words frequently appear in images, e.g., names of places, products, and sports teams. To overcome this difficulty, only resorting to pre-trained word embedding models is far from enough. A desired model should utilize the rich information in multiple modalities of the image to help understand the meaning of scene texts, e.g., the prominent text on a bottle is most likely to be the brand. Following this idea, we propose a novel VQA approach, Multi-Modal Graph Neural Network (MM-GNN). It first represents an image as a graph consisting of three sub-graphs, depicting visual, semantic, and numeric modalities respectively. Then, we introduce three aggregators which guide the message passing from one graph to another to utilize the contexts in various modalities, so as to refine the features of nodes. The updated nodes have better features for the downstream question answering module. Experimental evaluations show that our MM-GNN represents the scene texts better and obviously facilitates the performances on two VQA tasks that require reading scene texts.
We propose UniViLM: a Unified Video and Language pre-training Model for multimodal understanding and generation. Motivated by the recent success of BERT based pre-training technique for NLP and image-language tasks, VideoBERT and CBT are proposed to exploit BERT model for video and language pre-training using narrated instructional videos. Different from their works which only pre-train understanding task, we propose a unified video-language pre-training model for both understanding and generation tasks. Our model comprises of 4 components including two single-modal encoders, a cross encoder and a decoder with the Transformer backbone. We first pre-train our model to learn the universal representation for both video and language on a large instructional video dataset. Then we fine-tune the model on two multimodal tasks including understanding task (text-based video retrieval) and generation task (multimodal video captioning). Our extensive experiments show that our method can improve the performance of both understanding and generation tasks and achieves the state-of-the art results.
Reasoning with knowledge expressed in natural language and Knowledge Bases (KBs) is a major challenge for Artificial Intelligence, with applications in machine reading, dialogue, and question answering. General neural architectures that jointly learn representations and transformations of text are very data-inefficient, and it is hard to analyse their reasoning process. These issues are addressed by end-to-end differentiable reasoning systems such as Neural Theorem Provers (NTPs), although they can only be used with small-scale symbolic KBs. In this paper we first propose Greedy NTPs (GNTPs), an extension to NTPs addressing their complexity and scalability limitations, thus making them applicable to real-world datasets. This result is achieved by dynamically constructing the computation graph of NTPs and including only the most promising proof paths during inference, thus obtaining orders of magnitude more efficient models. Then, we propose a novel approach for jointly reasoning over KBs and textual mentions, by embedding logic facts and natural language sentences in a shared embedding space. We show that GNTPs perform on par with NTPs at a fraction of their cost while achieving competitive link prediction results on large datasets, providing explanations for predictions, and inducing interpretable models. Source code, datasets, and supplementary material are available online at https://github.com/uclnlp/gntp.
Recently, Visual Question Answering (VQA) has emerged as one of the most significant tasks in multimodal learning as it requires understanding both visual and textual modalities. Existing methods mainly rely on extracting image and question features to learn their joint feature embedding via multimodal fusion or attention mechanism. Some recent studies utilize external VQA-independent models to detect candidate entities or attributes in images, which serve as semantic knowledge complementary to the VQA task. However, these candidate entities or attributes might be unrelated to the VQA task and have limited semantic capacities. To better utilize semantic knowledge in images, we propose a novel framework to learn visual relation facts for VQA. Specifically, we build up a Relation-VQA (R-VQA) dataset based on the Visual Genome dataset via a semantic similarity module, in which each data consists of an image, a corresponding question, a correct answer and a supporting relation fact. A well-defined relation detector is then adopted to predict visual question-related relation facts. We further propose a multi-step attention model composed of visual attention and semantic attention sequentially to extract related visual knowledge and semantic knowledge. We conduct comprehensive experiments on the two benchmark datasets, demonstrating that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance and verifying the benefit of considering visual relation facts.
The collaborative reasoning for understanding each image-question pair is very critical but under-explored for an interpretable Visual Question Answering (VQA) system. Although very recent works also tried the explicit compositional processes to assemble multiple sub-tasks embedded in the questions, their models heavily rely on the annotations or hand-crafted rules to obtain valid reasoning layout, leading to either heavy labor or poor performance on composition reasoning. In this paper, to enable global context reasoning for better aligning image and language domains in diverse and unrestricted cases, we propose a novel reasoning network called Adversarial Composition Modular Network (ACMN). This network comprises of two collaborative modules: i) an adversarial attention module to exploit the local visual evidence for each word parsed from the question; ii) a residual composition module to compose the previously mined evidence. Given a dependency parse tree for each question, the adversarial attention module progressively discovers salient regions of one word by densely combining regions of child word nodes in an adversarial manner. Then residual composition module merges the hidden representations of an arbitrary number of children through sum pooling and residual connection. Our ACMN is thus capable of building an interpretable VQA system that gradually dives the image cues following a question-driven reasoning route and makes global reasoning by incorporating the learned knowledge of all attention modules in a principled manner. Experiments on relational datasets demonstrate the superiority of our ACMN and visualization results show the explainable capability of our reasoning system.
Most existing works in visual question answering (VQA) are dedicated to improving the accuracy of predicted answers, while disregarding the explanations. We argue that the explanation for an answer is of the same or even more importance compared with the answer itself, since it makes the question and answering process more understandable and traceable. To this end, we propose a new task of VQA-E (VQA with Explanation), where the computational models are required to generate an explanation with the predicted answer. We first construct a new dataset, and then frame the VQA-E problem in a multi-task learning architecture. Our VQA-E dataset is automatically derived from the VQA v2 dataset by intelligently exploiting the available captions. We have conducted a user study to validate the quality of explanations synthesized by our method. We quantitatively show that the additional supervision from explanations can not only produce insightful textual sentences to justify the answers, but also improve the performance of answer prediction. Our model outperforms the state-of-the-art methods by a clear margin on the VQA v2 dataset.
Visual question answering requires high-order reasoning about an image, which is a fundamental capability needed by machine systems to follow complex directives. Recently, modular networks have been shown to be an effective framework for performing visual reasoning tasks. While modular networks were initially designed with a degree of model transparency, their performance on complex visual reasoning benchmarks was lacking. Current state-of-the-art approaches do not provide an effective mechanism for understanding the reasoning process. In this paper, we close the performance gap between interpretable models and state-of-the-art visual reasoning methods. We propose a set of visual-reasoning primitives which, when composed, manifest as a model capable of performing complex reasoning tasks in an explicitly-interpretable manner. The fidelity and interpretability of the primitives' outputs enable an unparalleled ability to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of the resulting model. Critically, we show that these primitives are highly performant, achieving state-of-the-art accuracy of 99.1% on the CLEVR dataset. We also show that our model is able to effectively learn generalized representations when provided a small amount of data containing novel object attributes. Using the CoGenT generalization task, we show more than a 20 percentage point improvement over the current state of the art.
Visual Question Answering (VQA) is a novel problem domain where multi-modal inputs must be processed in order to solve the task given in the form of a natural language. As the solutions inherently require to combine visual and natural language processing with abstract reasoning, the problem is considered as AI-complete. Recent advances indicate that using high-level, abstract facts extracted from the inputs might facilitate reasoning. Following that direction we decided to develop a solution combining state-of-the-art object detection and reasoning modules. The results, achieved on the well-balanced CLEVR dataset, confirm the promises and show significant, few percent improvements of accuracy on the complex "counting" task.
Bar charts are an effective way for humans to convey information to each other, but today's algorithms cannot parse them. Existing methods fail when faced with minor variations in appearance. Here, we present DVQA, a dataset that tests many aspects of bar chart understanding in a question answering framework. Unlike visual question answering (VQA), DVQA requires processing words and answers that are unique to a particular bar chart. State-of-the-art VQA algorithms perform poorly on DVQA, and we propose two strong baselines that perform considerably better. Our work will enable algorithms to automatically extract semantic information from vast quantities of literature in science, business, and other areas.
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).