Exploring Overall Contextual Information for Image Captioning in Human-Like Cognitive Style

Hongwei Ge, Zehang Yan, Kai Zhang, Mingde Zhao, Liang Sun; The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 1754-1763


Image captioning is a research hotspot where encoder-decoder models combining convolutional neural network (CNN) and long short-term memory (LSTM) achieve promising results. Despite significant progress, these models generate sentences differently from human cognitive styles. Existing models often generate a complete sentence from the first word to the end, without considering the influence of the following words on the whole sentence generation. In this paper, we explore the utilization of a human-like cognitive style, i.e., building overall cognition for the image to be described and the sentence to be constructed, for enhancing computer image understanding. This paper first proposes a Mutual-aid network structure with Bidirectional LSTMs (MaBi-LSTMs) for acquiring overall contextual information. In the training process, the forward and backward LSTMs encode the succeeding and preceding words into their respective hidden states by simultaneously constructing the whole sentence in a complementary manner. In the captioning process, the LSTM implicitly utilizes the subsequent semantic information contained in its hidden states. In fact, MaBi-LSTMs can generate two sentences in forward and backward directions. To bridge the gap between cross-domain models and generate a sentence with higher quality, we further develop a cross-modal attention mechanism to retouch the two sentences by fusing their salient parts as well as the salient areas of the image. Experimental results on the Microsoft COCO dataset show that the proposed model improves the performance of encoder-decoder models and achieves state-of-the-art results.

Related Material

author = {Ge, Hongwei and Yan, Zehang and Zhang, Kai and Zhao, Mingde and Sun, Liang},
title = {Exploring Overall Contextual Information for Image Captioning in Human-Like Cognitive Style},
booktitle = {The IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}