Unbiased Scene Graph Generation from Biased Training

Today's scene graph generation (SGG) task is still far from practical, mainly due to the severe training bias, e.g., collapsing diverse "human walk on / sit on / lay on beach" into "human on beach". Given such SGG, the down-stream tasks such as VQA can hardly infer better scene structures than merely a bag of objects. However, debiasing in SGG is not trivial because traditional debiasing methods cannot distinguish between the good and bad bias, e.g., good context prior (e.g., "person read book" rather than "eat") and bad long-tailed bias (e.g., "near" dominating "behind / in front of"). In this paper, we present a novel SGG framework based on causal inference but not the conventional likelihood. We first build a causal graph for SGG, and perform traditional biased training with the graph. Then, we propose to draw the counterfactual causality from the trained graph to infer the effect from the bad bias, which should be removed. In particular, we use Total Direct Effect (TDE) as the proposed final predicate score for unbiased SGG. Note that our framework is agnostic to any SGG model and thus can be widely applied in the community who seeks unbiased predictions. By using the proposed Scene Graph Diagnosis toolkit on the SGG benchmark Visual Genome and several prevailing models, we observed significant improvements over the previous state-of-the-art methods.

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