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.
Visual-semantic embedding enables various tasks such as image-text retrieval, image captioning, and visual question answering. The key to successful visual-semantic embedding is to express visual and textual data properly by accounting for their intricate relationship. While previous studies have achieved much advance by encoding the visual and textual data into a joint space where similar concepts are closely located, they often represent data by a single vector ignoring the presence of multiple important components in an image or text. Thus, in addition to the joint embedding space, we propose a novel multi-head self-attention network to capture various components of visual and textual data by attending to important parts in data. Our approach achieves the new state-of-the-art results in image-text retrieval tasks on MS-COCO and Flicker30K datasets. Through the visualization of the attention maps that capture distinct semantic components at multiple positions in the image and the text, we demonstrate that our method achieves an effective and interpretable visual-semantic joint space.
Paragraph-style image captions describe diverse aspects of an image as opposed to the more common single-sentence captions that only provide an abstract description of the image. These paragraph captions can hence contain substantial information of the image for tasks such as visual question answering. Moreover, this textual information is complementary with visual information present in the image because it can discuss both more abstract concepts and more explicit, intermediate symbolic information about objects, events, and scenes that can directly be matched with the textual question and copied into the textual answer (i.e., via easier modality match). Hence, we propose a combined Visual and Textual Question Answering (VTQA) model which takes as input a paragraph caption as well as the corresponding image, and answers the given question based on both inputs. In our model, the inputs are fused to extract related information by cross-attention (early fusion), then fused again in the form of consensus (late fusion), and finally expected answers are given an extra score to enhance the chance of selection (later fusion). Empirical results show that paragraph captions, even when automatically generated (via an RL-based encoder-decoder model), help correctly answer more visual questions. Overall, our joint model, when trained on the Visual Genome dataset, significantly improves the VQA performance over a strong baseline model.
It is always well believed that modeling relationships between objects would be helpful for representing and eventually describing an image. Nevertheless, there has not been evidence in support of the idea on image description generation. In this paper, we introduce a new design to explore the connections between objects for image captioning under the umbrella of attention-based encoder-decoder framework. Specifically, we present Graph Convolutional Networks plus Long Short-Term Memory (dubbed as GCN-LSTM) architecture that novelly integrates both semantic and spatial object relationships into image encoder. Technically, we build graphs over the detected objects in an image based on their spatial and semantic connections. The representations of each region proposed on objects are then refined by leveraging graph structure through GCN. With the learnt region-level features, our GCN-LSTM capitalizes on LSTM-based captioning framework with attention mechanism for sentence generation. Extensive experiments are conducted on COCO image captioning dataset, and superior results are reported when comparing to state-of-the-art approaches. More remarkably, GCN-LSTM increases CIDEr-D performance from 120.1% to 128.7% on COCO testing set.
Visual Question answering is a challenging problem requiring a combination of concepts from Computer Vision and Natural Language Processing. Most existing approaches use a two streams strategy, computing image and question features that are consequently merged using a variety of techniques. Nonetheless, very few rely on higher level image representations, which allow to capture semantic and spatial relationships. In this paper, we propose a novel graph-based approach for Visual Question Answering. Our method combines a graph learner module, which learns a question specific graph representation of the input image, with the recent concept of graph convolutions, aiming to learn image representations that capture question specific interactions. We test our approach on the VQA v2 dataset using a simple baseline architecture enhanced by the proposed graph learner module. We obtain state of the art results with 65.77% accuracy and demonstrate the interpretability of the proposed method.
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.
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 65.3% to 67.4% on VQAv2, demonstrating a significant boost.
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.
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.
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.
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).