Image captioning with weakly-supervised attention penalty

6 Mar 2019  ·  Jiayun Li, Mohammad K. Ebrahimpour, Azadeh Moghtaderi, Yen-Yun Yu ·

Stories are essential for genealogy research since they can help build emotional connections with people. A lot of family stories are reserved in historical photos and albums. Recent development on image captioning models makes it feasible to "tell stories" for photos automatically. The attention mechanism has been widely adopted in many state-of-the-art encoder-decoder based image captioning models, since it can bridge the gap between the visual part and the language part. Most existing captioning models implicitly trained attention modules with word-likelihood loss. Meanwhile, lots of studies have investigated intrinsic attentions for visual models using gradient-based approaches. Ideally, attention maps predicted by captioning models should be consistent with intrinsic attentions from visual models for any given visual concept. However, no work has been done to align implicitly learned attention maps with intrinsic visual attentions. In this paper, we proposed a novel model that measured consistency between captioning predicted attentions and intrinsic visual attentions. This alignment loss allows explicit attention correction without using any expensive bounding box annotations. We developed and evaluated our model on COCO dataset as well as a genealogical dataset from Operations Inc., which contains billions of historical photos. The proposed model achieved better performances on all commonly used language evaluation metrics for both datasets.

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