Learning Common Sense Through Visual Abstraction

Ramakrishna Vedantam, Xiao Lin, Tanmay Batra, C. Lawrence Zitnick, Devi Parikh; Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), 2015, pp. 2542-2550


Common sense is essential for building intelligent machines. While some commonsense knowledge is explicitly stated in human-generated text and can be learnt by mining the web, much of it is unwritten. It is often unnecessary and even unnatural to write about commonsense facts. While unwritten, this commonsense knowledge is not unseen! The visual world around us is full of structure modeled by commonsense knowledge. Can machines learn common sense simply by observing our visual world? Unfortunately, this requires automatic and accurate detection of objects, their attributes, poses, and interactions between objects, which remain challenging problems. Our key insight is that while visual common sense is depicted in visual content, it is the semantic features that are relevant and not low-level pixel information. In other words, photorealism is not necessary to learn common sense. We explore the use of human-generated abstract scenes made from clipart for learning common sense. In particular, we reason about the plausibility of an interaction or relation between a pair of nouns by measuring the similarity of the relation and nouns with other relations and nouns we have seen in abstract scenes. We show that the commonsense knowledge we learn is complementary to what can be learnt from sources of text.

Related Material

author = {Vedantam, Ramakrishna and Lin, Xiao and Batra, Tanmay and Zitnick, C. Lawrence and Parikh, Devi},
title = {Learning Common Sense Through Visual Abstraction},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)},
month = {December},
year = {2015}