Self Supervision for Attention Networks

Badri N. Patro, Kasturi G.S., Ansh Jain, Vinay P. Namboodiri; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), 2021, pp. 726-735


In recent years, the attention mechanism has become a fairly popular concept and has proven to be successful in many machine learning applications. However, deep learning models do not employ supervision for these attention mechanisms which can improve the model's performance significantly. Therefore, in this paper, we tackle this limitation and propose a novel method to improve the attention mechanism by inducing "self-supervision". We devise a technique to generate desirable attention maps for any model that utilizes an attention module. This is achieved by examining the model's output for different regions sampled from the input and obtaining the attention probability distributions that enhance the proficiency of the model. The attention distributions thus obtained are used for supervision. We rely on the fact, that attenuation of the unimportant parts, allows a model to attend to more salient regions, thus strengthening the prediction accuracy. The quantitative and qualitative results published in this paper show that this method successfully improves the attention mechanism as well as the model's accuracy. In addition to the task of Visual Question Answering(VQA), we also show results on the task of Image classification and Text classification to prove that our method can be generalized to any vision and language model that uses an attention module

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@InProceedings{Patro_2021_WACV, author = {Patro, Badri N. and G.S., Kasturi and Jain, Ansh and Namboodiri, Vinay P.}, title = {Self Supervision for Attention Networks}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV)}, month = {January}, year = {2021}, pages = {726-735} }