Meta Module Network for Compositional Visual Reasoning

Wenhu Chen, Zhe Gan, Linjie Li, Yu Cheng, William Wang, Jingjing Liu; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2021, pp. 655-664


Neural Module Network (NMN) exhibits strong interpretability and compositionality thanks to its handcrafted neural modules with explicit multi-hop reasoning capability. However, most NMNs suffer from two critical drawbacks: 1) scalability: customized module for specific function renders it impractical when scaling up to a larger set of functions in complex tasks; 2) generalizability: rigid pre-defined module inventory makes it difficult to generalize to unseen functions in new tasks/domains. To design a more powerful NMN architecture for practical use, we propose Meta Module Network (MMN) centered on a novel meta module, which can take in function recipes and morph into diverse instance modules dynamically. The instance modules are then woven into an execution graph for complex visual reasoning, inheriting the strong explainability and compositionality of NMN. With such a flexible instantiation mechanism, the parameters of instance modules are inherited from the central meta module, retaining the same model complexity as the function set grows, which promises better scalability. Meanwhile, as functions are encoded into the embedding space, unseen functions can be readily represented based on its structural similarity with previously observed ones, which ensures better generalizability. Experiments on GQA and CLEVR datasets validate the superiority of MMN over state-of-the-art NMN designs. Synthetic experiments on held-out unseen functions from GQA dataset also demonstrate the strong generalizability of MMN.

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@InProceedings{Chen_2021_WACV, author = {Chen, Wenhu and Gan, Zhe and Li, Linjie and Cheng, Yu and Wang, William and Liu, Jingjing}, title = {Meta Module Network for Compositional Visual Reasoning}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2021}, pages = {655-664} }