Self-Mutual Distillation Learning for Continuous Sign Language Recognition

Aiming Hao, Yuecong Min, Xilin Chen; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2021, pp. 11303-11312


In recent years, deep learning moves video-based Continuous Sign Language Recognition (CSLR) significantly forward. Currently, a typical network combination for CSLR includes a visual module, which focuses on spatial and short-temporal information, followed by a contextual module, which focuses on long-temporal information, and the Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC) loss is adopted to train the network. However, due to the limitation of chain rules in back-propagation, the visual module is hard to adjust for seeking optimized visual features. As a result, it enforces that the contextual module focuses on contextual information optimization only rather than balancing efficient visual and contextual information. In this paper, we propose a Self-Mutual Knowledge Distillation (SMKD) method, which enforces the visual and contextual modules to focus on short-term and long-term information and enhances the discriminative power of both modules simultaneously. Specifically, the visual and contextual modules share the weights of their corresponding classifiers, and train with CTC loss simultaneously. Moreover, the spike phenomenon widely exists with CTC loss. Although it can help us choose a few of the key frames of a gloss, it does drop other frames in a gloss and makes the visual feature saturation in the early stage. A gloss segmentation is developed to relieve the spike phenomenon and decrease saturation in the visual module. We conduct experiments on two CSLR benchmarks: PHOENIX14 and PHOENIX14-T. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the SMKD.

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@InProceedings{Hao_2021_ICCV, author = {Hao, Aiming and Min, Yuecong and Chen, Xilin}, title = {Self-Mutual Distillation Learning for Continuous Sign Language Recognition}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2021}, pages = {11303-11312} }