Going Beyond Nouns With Vision & Language Models Using Synthetic Data

Paola Cascante-Bonilla, Khaled Shehada, James Seale Smith, Sivan Doveh, Donghyun Kim, Rameswar Panda, Gul Varol, Aude Oliva, Vicente Ordonez, Rogerio Feris, Leonid Karlinsky; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2023, pp. 20155-20165


Large-scale pre-trained Vision & Language (VL) models have shown remarkable performance in many applications, enabling replacing a fixed set of supported classes with zero-shot open vocabulary reasoning over (almost arbitrary) natural language prompts. However, recent works have uncovered a fundamental weakness of these models. For example, their difficulty to understand Visual Language Concepts (VLC) that go 'beyond nouns' such as the meaning of non-object words (e.g., attributes, actions, relations, states, etc.), or difficulty in performing compositional reasoning such as understanding the significance of the order of the words in a sentence. In this work, we investigate to which extent purely synthetic data could be leveraged to teach these models to overcome such shortcomings without compromising their zero-shot capabilities. We contribute Synthetic Visual Concepts (SyViC) - a million-scale synthetic dataset and data generation codebase allowing to generate additional suitable data to improve VLC understanding and compositional reasoning of VL models. Additionally, we propose a general VL finetuning strategy for effectively leveraging SyViC towards achieving these improvements. Our extensive experiments and ablations on VL-Checklist, Winoground, and ARO benchmarks demonstrate that it is possible to adapt strong pre-trained VL models with synthetic data significantly enhancing their VLC understanding (e.g. by 9.9% on ARO and 4.3% on VL-Checklist) with under 1% drop in their zero-shot accuracy.

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@InProceedings{Cascante-Bonilla_2023_ICCV, author = {Cascante-Bonilla, Paola and Shehada, Khaled and Smith, James Seale and Doveh, Sivan and Kim, Donghyun and Panda, Rameswar and Varol, Gul and Oliva, Aude and Ordonez, Vicente and Feris, Rogerio and Karlinsky, Leonid}, title = {Going Beyond Nouns With Vision \& Language Models Using Synthetic Data}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)}, month = {October}, year = {2023}, pages = {20155-20165} }