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.
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.
The Visual Question Answering (VQA) task combines challenges for processing data with both Visual and Linguistic processing, to answer basic `common sense' questions about given images. Given an image and a question in natural language, the VQA system tries to find the correct answer to it using visual elements of the image and inference gathered from textual questions. In this survey, we cover and discuss the recent datasets released in the VQA domain dealing with various types of question-formats and enabling robustness of the machine-learning models. Next, we discuss about new deep learning models that have shown promising results over the VQA datasets. At the end, we present and discuss some of the results computed by us over the vanilla VQA models, Stacked Attention Network and the VQA Challenge 2017 winner model. We also provide the detailed analysis along with the challenges and future research directions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Top-down visual attention mechanisms have been used extensively in image captioning and visual question answering (VQA) to enable deeper image understanding through fine-grained analysis and even multiple steps of reasoning. In this work, we propose a combined bottom-up and top-down attention mechanism that enables attention to be calculated at the level of objects and other salient image regions. This is the natural basis for attention to be considered. Within our approach, the bottom-up mechanism (based on Faster R-CNN) proposes image regions, each with an associated feature vector, while the top-down mechanism determines feature weightings. Applying this approach to image captioning, our results on the MSCOCO test server establish a new state-of-the-art for the task, achieving CIDEr / SPICE / BLEU-4 scores of 117.9, 21.5 and 36.9, respectively. Demonstrating the broad applicability of the method, applying the same approach to VQA we obtain first place in the 2017 VQA Challenge.
We propose an architecture for VQA which utilizes recurrent layers to generate visual and textual attention. The memory characteristic of the proposed recurrent attention units offers a rich joint embedding of visual and textual features and enables the model to reason relations between several parts of the image and question. Our single model outperforms the first place winner on the VQA 1.0 dataset, performs within margin to the current state-of-the-art ensemble model. We also experiment with replacing attention mechanisms in other state-of-the-art models with our implementation and show increased accuracy. In both cases, our recurrent attention mechanism improves performance in tasks requiring sequential or relational reasoning on the VQA dataset.
Visual Question Answering (VQA) has attracted attention from both computer vision and natural language processing communities. Most existing approaches adopt the pipeline of representing an image via pre-trained CNNs, and then using the uninterpretable CNN features in conjunction with the question to predict the answer. Although such end-to-end models might report promising performance, they rarely provide any insight, apart from the answer, into the VQA process. In this work, we propose to break up the end-to-end VQA into two steps: explaining and reasoning, in an attempt towards a more explainable VQA by shedding light on the intermediate results between these two steps. To that end, we first extract attributes and generate descriptions as explanations for an image using pre-trained attribute detectors and image captioning models, respectively. Next, a reasoning module utilizes these explanations in place of the image to infer an answer to the question. The advantages of such a breakdown include: (1) the attributes and captions can reflect what the system extracts from the image, thus can provide some explanations for the predicted answer; (2) these intermediate results can help us identify the inabilities of both the image understanding part and the answer inference part when the predicted answer is wrong. We conduct extensive experiments on a popular VQA dataset and dissect all results according to several measurements of the explanation quality. Our system achieves comparable performance with the state-of-the-art, yet with added benefits of explainability and the inherent ability to further improve with higher quality explanations.