What Makes a Video a Video: Analyzing Temporal Information in Video Understanding Models and Datasets

The ability to capture temporal information has been critical to the development of video understanding models. While there have been numerous attempts at modeling motion in videos, an explicit analysis of the effect of temporal information for video understanding is still missing. In this work, we aim to bridge this gap and ask the following question: How important is the motion in the video for recognizing the action? To this end, we propose two novel frameworks: (i) class-agnostic temporal generator and (ii) motion-invariant frame selector to reduce/remove motion for an ablation analysis without introducing other artifacts. This isolates the analysis of motion from other aspects of the video. The proposed frameworks provide a much tighter estimate of the effect of motion (from 25% to 6% on UCF101 and 15% to 5% on Kinetics) compared to baselines in our analysis. Our analysis provides critical insights about existing models like C3D, and how it could be made to achieve comparable results with a sparser set of frames.

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