Sketch, Ground, and Refine: Top-Down Dense Video Captioning

Chaorui Deng, Shizhe Chen, Da Chen, Yuan He, Qi Wu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2021, pp. 234-243


The dense video captioning task aims to detect and describe a sequence of events in a video for detailed and coherent storytelling. Previous works mainly adopt a "detect-then-describe" framework, which firstly detects event proposals in the video and then generates descriptions for the detected events. However, the definitions of events are diverse which could be as simple as a single action or as complex as a set of events, depending on different semantic contexts. Therefore, directly detecting events based on video information is ill-defined and hurts the coherency and accuracy of generated dense captions. In this work, we reverse the predominant "detect-then-describe" fashion, proposing a top-down way to first generate paragraphs from a global view and then ground each event description to a video segment for detailed refinement. It is formulated as a Sketch, Ground, and Refine process (SGR). The sketch stage first generates a coarse-grained multi-sentence paragraph to describe the whole video, where each sentence is treated as an event and gets localised in the grounding stage. In the refining stage, we improve captioning quality via refinement-enhanced training and dual-path cross attention on both coarse-grained event captions and aligned event segments. The updated event caption can further adjust its segment boundaries. Our SGR model outperforms state-of-the-art methods on ActivityNet Captioning benchmark under traditional and story-oriented dense caption evaluations. Code will be released at

Related Material

@InProceedings{Deng_2021_CVPR, author = {Deng, Chaorui and Chen, Shizhe and Chen, Da and He, Yuan and Wu, Qi}, title = {Sketch, Ground, and Refine: Top-Down Dense Video Captioning}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)}, month = {June}, year = {2021}, pages = {234-243} }