ViTAA: Visual-Textual Attributes Alignment in Person Search by Natural Language

Person search by natural language aims at retrieving a specific person in a large-scale image pool that matches the given textual descriptions. While most of the current methods treat the task as a holistic visual and textual feature matching one, we approach it from an attribute-aligning perspective that allows grounding specific attribute phrases to the corresponding visual regions. We achieve success as well as the performance boosting by a robust feature learning that the referred identity can be accurately bundled by multiple attribute visual cues. To be concrete, our Visual-Textual Attribute Alignment model (dubbed as ViTAA) learns to disentangle the feature space of a person into subspaces corresponding to attributes using a light auxiliary attribute segmentation computing branch. It then aligns these visual features with the textual attributes parsed from the sentences by using a novel contrastive learning loss. Upon that, we validate our ViTAA framework through extensive experiments on tasks of person search by natural language and by attribute-phrase queries, on which our system achieves state-of-the-art performances. Code will be publicly available upon publication.

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