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.
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.
Accurately answering a question about a given image requires combining observations with general knowledge. While this is effortless for humans, reasoning with general knowledge remains an algorithmic challenge. To advance research in this direction a novel `fact-based' visual question answering (FVQA) task has been introduced recently along with a large set of curated facts which link two entities, i.e., two possible answers, via a relation. Given a question-image pair, deep network techniques have been employed to successively reduce the large set of facts until one of the two entities of the final remaining fact is predicted as the answer. We observe that a successive process which considers one fact at a time to form a local decision is sub-optimal. Instead, we develop an entity graph and use a graph convolutional network to `reason' about the correct answer by jointly considering all entities. We show on the challenging FVQA dataset that this leads to an improvement in accuracy of around 7% compared to the state of the art.
Machine reading comprehension (MRC) requires reasoning about both the knowledge involved in a document and knowledge about the world. However, existing datasets are typically dominated by questions that can be well solved by context matching, which fail to test this capability. To encourage the progress on knowledge-based reasoning in MRC, we present knowledge-based MRC in this paper, and build a new dataset consisting of 40,047 question-answer pairs. The annotation of this dataset is designed so that successfully answering the questions requires understanding and the knowledge involved in a document. We implement a framework consisting of both a question answering model and a question generation model, both of which take the knowledge extracted from the document as well as relevant facts from an external knowledge base such as Freebase/ProBase/Reverb/NELL. Results show that incorporating side information from external KB improves the accuracy of the baseline question answer system. We compare it with a standard MRC model BiDAF, and also provide the difficulty of the dataset and lay out remaining challenges.
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.
Answering visual questions need acquire daily common knowledge and model the semantic connection among different parts in images, which is too difficult for VQA systems to learn from images with the only supervision from answers. Meanwhile, image captioning systems with beam search strategy tend to generate similar captions and fail to diversely describe images. To address the aforementioned issues, we present a system to have these two tasks compensate with each other, which is capable of jointly producing image captions and answering visual questions. In particular, we utilize question and image features to generate question-related captions and use the generated captions as additional features to provide new knowledge to the VQA system. For image captioning, our system attains more informative results in term of the relative improvements on VQA tasks as well as competitive results using automated metrics. Applying our system to the VQA tasks, our results on VQA v2 dataset achieve 65.8% using generated captions and 69.1% using annotated captions in validation set and 68.4% in the test-standard set. Further, an ensemble of 10 models results in 69.7% in the test-standard split.
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.
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.
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.
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).