Entangled Transformer for Image Captioning

Guang Li, Linchao Zhu, Ping Liu, Yi Yang; Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2019, pp. 8928-8937


In image captioning, the typical attention mechanisms are arduous to identify the equivalent visual signals especially when predicting highly abstract words. This phenomenon is known as the semantic gap between vision and language. This problem can be overcome by providing semantic attributes that are homologous to language. Thanks to the inherent recurrent nature and gated operating mechanism, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) and its variants are the dominating architectures in image captioning. However, when designing elaborate attention mechanisms to integrate visual inputs and semantic attributes, RNN-like variants become unflexible due to their complexities. In this paper, we investigate a Transformer-based sequence modeling framework, built only with attention layers and feedforward layers. To bridge the semantic gap, we introduce EnTangled Attention (ETA) that enables the Transformer to exploit semantic and visual information simultaneously. Furthermore, Gated Bilateral Controller (GBC) is proposed to guide the interactions between the multimodal information. We name our model as ETA-Transformer. Remarkably, ETA-Transformer achieves state-of-the-art performance on the MSCOCO image captioning dataset. The ablation studies validate the improvements of our proposed modules.

Related Material

author = {Li, Guang and Zhu, Linchao and Liu, Ping and Yang, Yi},
title = {Entangled Transformer for Image Captioning},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {October},
year = {2019}