Variational Transformer: A Framework Beyond the Trade-off between Accuracy and Diversity for Image Captioning

28 May 2022  ·  Longzhen Yang, Yihang Liu, Yitao Peng, Lianghua He ·

Accuracy and Diversity are two essential metrizable manifestations in generating natural and semantically correct captions. Many efforts have been made to enhance one of them with another decayed due to the trade-off gap. In this work, we will show that the inferior standard of accuracy draws from human annotations (leave-one-out) are not appropriate for machine-generated captions. To improve diversity with a solid accuracy performance, we exploited a novel Variational Transformer framework. By introducing the "Invisible Information Prior" and the "Auto-selectable GMM", we instruct the encoder to learn the precise language information and object relation in different scenes for accuracy assurance. By introducing the "Range-Median Reward" baseline, we retain more diverse candidates with higher rewards during the RL-based training process for diversity assurance. Experiments show that our method achieves the simultaneous promotion of accuracy (CIDEr) and diversity (self-CIDEr), up to 1.1 and 4.8 percent. Also, our method got the most similar performance of the semantic retrieval compared to human annotations, with 50.3 (50.6 of human) for R@1(i2t).

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