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.
Answering compositional questions that require multiple steps of reasoning against text is challenging, especially when they involve discrete, symbolic operations. Neural module networks (NMNs) learn to parse such questions as executable programs composed of learnable modules, performing well on synthetic visual QA domains. However, we find that it is challenging to learn these models for non-synthetic questions on open-domain text, where a model needs to deal with the diversity of natural language and perform a broader range of reasoning. We extend NMNs by: (a) introducing modules that reason over a paragraph of text, performing symbolic reasoning (such as arithmetic, sorting, counting) over numbers and dates in a probabilistic and differentiable manner; and (b) proposing an unsupervised auxiliary loss to help extract arguments associated with the events in text. Additionally, we show that a limited amount of heuristically-obtained question program and intermediate module output supervision provides sufficient inductive bias for accurate learning. Our proposed model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art models on a subset of the DROP dataset that poses a variety of reasoning challenges that are covered by our modules.
We introduce GQA, a new dataset for real-world visual reasoning and compositional question answering, seeking to address key shortcomings of previous VQA datasets. We have developed a strong and robust question engine that leverages scene graph structures to create 22M diverse reasoning questions, all come with functional programs that represent their semantics. We use the programs to gain tight control over the answer distribution and present a new tunable smoothing technique to mitigate question biases. Accompanying the dataset is a suite of new metrics that evaluate essential qualities such as consistency, grounding and plausibility. An extensive analysis is performed for baselines as well as state-of-the-art models, providing fine-grained results for different question types and topologies. Whereas a blind LSTM obtains mere 42.1%, and strong VQA models achieve 54.1%, human performance tops at 89.3%, offering ample opportunity for new research to explore. We strongly hope GQA will provide an enabling resource for the next generation of models with enhanced robustness, improved consistency, and deeper semantic understanding for images and language.
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.
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 66.18% accuracy and demonstrate the interpretability of the proposed method.
Multi-relation Question Answering is a challenging task, due to the requirement of elaborated analysis on questions and reasoning over multiple fact triples in knowledge base. In this paper, we present a novel model called Interpretable Reasoning Network that employs an interpretable, hop-by-hop reasoning process for question answering. The model dynamically decides which part of an input question should be analyzed at each hop; predicts a relation that corresponds to the current parsed results; utilizes the predicted relation to update the question representation and the state of the reasoning process; and then drives the next-hop reasoning. Experiments show that our model yields state-of-the-art results on two datasets. More interestingly, the model can offer traceable and observable intermediate predictions for reasoning analysis and failure diagnosis, thereby allowing manual manipulation in predicting the final answer.
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.
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.
A vexing problem in artificial intelligence is reasoning about events that occur in complex, changing visual stimuli such as in video analysis or game play. Inspired by a rich tradition of visual reasoning and memory in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, we developed an artificial, configurable visual question and answer dataset (COG) to parallel experiments in humans and animals. COG is much simpler than the general problem of video analysis, yet it addresses many of the problems relating to visual and logical reasoning and memory -- problems that remain challenging for modern deep learning architectures. We additionally propose a deep learning architecture that performs competitively on other diagnostic VQA datasets (i.e. CLEVR) as well as easy settings of the COG dataset. However, several settings of COG result in datasets that are progressively more challenging to learn. After training, the network can zero-shot generalize to many new tasks. Preliminary analyses of the network architectures trained on COG demonstrate that the network accomplishes the task in a manner interpretable to humans.
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).