Visual Distant Supervision for Scene Graph Generation

Yuan Yao, Ao Zhang, Xu Han, Mengdi Li, Cornelius Weber, Zhiyuan Liu, Stefan Wermter, Maosong Sun; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2021, pp. 15816-15826


Scene graph generation aims to identify objects and their relations in images, providing structured image representations that can facilitate numerous applications in computer vision. However, scene graph models usually require supervised learning on large quantities of labeled data with intensive human annotation. In this work, we propose visual distant supervision, a novel paradigm of visual relation learning, which can train scene graph models without any human-labeled data. The intuition is that by aligning commonsense knowledge bases and images, we can automatically create large-scale labeled data to provide distant supervision for visual relation learning. To alleviate the noise in distantly labeled data, we further propose a framework that iteratively estimates the probabilistic relation labels and eliminates the noisy ones. Comprehensive experimental results show that our distantly supervised model outperforms strong weakly supervised and semi-supervised baselines. By further incorporating human-labeled data in a semi-supervised fashion, our model outperforms state-of-the-art fully supervised models by a large margin (e.g., 8.3 micro- and 7.8 macro-recall@50 improvements for predicate classification in Visual Genome evaluation). We make the data and code for this paper publicly available at

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@InProceedings{Yao_2021_ICCV, author = {Yao, Yuan and Zhang, Ao and Han, Xu and Li, Mengdi and Weber, Cornelius and Liu, Zhiyuan and Wermter, Stefan and Sun, Maosong}, title = {Visual Distant Supervision for Scene Graph Generation}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2021}, pages = {15816-15826} }