The recently proposed SparseFormer architecture provides an alternative approach to visual understanding by utilizing a significantly lower number of visual tokens via adjusting RoIs, greatly reducing computational costs while still achieving promising performance. However, training SparseFormers from scratch is still expensive, and scaling up the number of parameters can be challenging. In this paper, we propose to bootstrap SparseFormers from ViT-based vision foundation models in a simple and efficient way. Since the majority of SparseFormer blocks are the standard transformer ones, we can inherit weights from large-scale pre-trained vision transformers and freeze them as much as possible. Therefore, we only need to train the SparseFormer-specific lightweight focusing transformer to adjust token RoIs and fine-tune a few early pre-trained blocks to align the final token representation. In such a way, we can bootstrap SparseFormer architectures from various large-scale pre-trained models (e.g., IN-21K pre-trained AugRegs or CLIPs) using a rather smaller amount of training samples (e.g., IN-1K) and without labels or captions within just a few hours. As a result, the bootstrapped unimodal SparseFormer (from AugReg-ViT-L/16-384) can reach 84.9% accuracy on IN-1K with only 49 tokens, and the multimodal SparseFormer from CLIPs also demonstrates notable zero-shot performance with highly reduced computational cost without seeing any caption during the bootstrapping procedure. In addition, CLIP-bootstrapped SparseFormers, which align the output space with language without seeing a word, can serve as efficient vision encoders in multimodal large language models. Code will be publicly available at https://github.com/showlab/sparseformer
We present Ego-Exo4D, a diverse, large-scale multimodal multiview video dataset and benchmark challenge. Ego-Exo4D centers around simultaneously-captured egocentric and exocentric video of skilled human activities (e.g., sports, music, dance, bike repair). More than 800 participants from 13 cities worldwide performed these activities in 131 different natural scene contexts, yielding long-form captures from 1 to 42 minutes each and 1,422 hours of video combined. The multimodal nature of the dataset is unprecedented: the video is accompanied by multichannel audio, eye gaze, 3D point clouds, camera poses, IMU, and multiple paired language descriptions -- including a novel "expert commentary" done by coaches and teachers and tailored to the skilled-activity domain. To push the frontier of first-person video understanding of skilled human activity, we also present a suite of benchmark tasks and their annotations, including fine-grained activity understanding, proficiency estimation, cross-view translation, and 3D hand/body pose. All resources will be open sourced to fuel new research in the community.
Video Temporal Grounding (VTG), which aims to ground target clips from videos (such as consecutive intervals or disjoint shots) according to custom language queries (e.g., sentences or words), is key for video browsing on social media. Most methods in this direction develop taskspecific models that are trained with type-specific labels, such as moment retrieval (time interval) and highlight detection (worthiness curve), which limits their abilities to generalize to various VTG tasks and labels. In this paper, we propose to Unify the diverse VTG labels and tasks, dubbed UniVTG, along three directions: Firstly, we revisit a wide range of VTG labels and tasks and define a unified formulation. Based on this, we develop data annotation schemes to create scalable pseudo supervision. Secondly, we develop an effective and flexible grounding model capable of addressing each task and making full use of each label. Lastly, thanks to the unified framework, we are able to unlock temporal grounding pretraining from large-scale diverse labels and develop stronger grounding abilities e.g., zero-shot grounding. Extensive experiments on three tasks (moment retrieval, highlight detection and video summarization) across seven datasets (QVHighlights, Charades-STA, TACoS, Ego4D, YouTube Highlights, TVSum, and QFVS) demonstrate the effectiveness and flexibility of our proposed framework. The codes are available at https://github.com/showlab/UniVTG.
Recent research on Large Language Models (LLMs) has led to remarkable advancements in general NLP AI assistants. Some studies have further explored the use of LLMs for planning and invoking models or APIs to address more general multi-modal user queries. Despite this progress, complex visual-based tasks still remain challenging due to the diverse nature of visual tasks. This diversity is reflected in two aspects: 1) Reasoning paths. For many real-life applications, it is hard to accurately decompose a query simply by examining the query itself. Planning based on the specific visual content and the results of each step is usually required. 2) Flexible inputs and intermediate results. Input forms could be flexible for in-the-wild cases, and involves not only a single image or video but a mixture of videos and images, e.g., a user-view image with some reference videos. Besides, a complex reasoning process will also generate diverse multimodal intermediate results, e.g., video narrations, segmented video clips, etc. To address such general cases, we propose a multi-modal AI assistant, AssistGPT, with an interleaved code and language reasoning approach called Plan, Execute, Inspect, and Learn (PEIL) to integrate LLMs with various tools. Specifically, the Planner is capable of using natural language to plan which tool in Executor should do next based on the current reasoning progress. Inspector is an efficient memory manager to assist the Planner to feed proper visual information into a specific tool. Finally, since the entire reasoning process is complex and flexible, a Learner is designed to enable the model to autonomously explore and discover the optimal solution. We conducted experiments on A-OKVQA and NExT-QA benchmarks, achieving state-of-the-art results. Moreover, showcases demonstrate the ability of our system to handle questions far more complex than those found in the benchmarks.
Humans excel at learning from expert demonstrations and solving their own problems. To equip intelligent robots and assistants, such as AR glasses, with this ability, it is essential to ground human hand interactions (i.e., affordances) from demonstration videos and apply them to a target image like a user's AR glass view. The video-to-image affordance grounding task is challenging due to (1) the need to predict fine-grained affordances, and (2) the limited training data, which inadequately covers video-image discrepancies and negatively impacts grounding. To tackle them, we propose Affordance Transformer (Afformer), which has a fine-grained transformer-based decoder that gradually refines affordance grounding. Moreover, we introduce Mask Affordance Hand (MaskAHand), a self-supervised pre-training technique for synthesizing video-image data and simulating context changes, enhancing affordance grounding across video-image discrepancies. Afformer with MaskAHand pre-training achieves state-of-the-art performance on multiple benchmarks, including a substantial 37% improvement on the OPRA dataset. Code is made available at https://github.com/showlab/afformer.
A long-standing goal of intelligent assistants such as AR glasses/robots has been to assist users in affordance-centric real-world scenarios, such as "how can I run the microwave for 1 minute?". However, there is still no clear task definition and suitable benchmarks. In this paper, we define a new task called Affordance-centric Question-driven Task Completion, where the AI assistant should learn from instructional videos and scripts to guide the user step-by-step. To support the task, we constructed AssistQ, a new dataset comprising 529 question-answer samples derived from 100 newly filmed first-person videos. Each question should be completed with multi-step guidances by inferring from visual details (e.g., buttons' position) and textural details (e.g., actions like press/turn). To address this unique task, we developed a Question-to-Actions (Q2A) model that significantly outperforms several baseline methods while still having large room for improvement. We expect our task and dataset to advance Egocentric AI Assistant's development. Our project page is available at: https://showlab.github.io/assistq
A standard hardware bottleneck when training deep neural networks is GPU memory. The bulk of memory is occupied by caching intermediate tensors for gradient computation in the backward pass. We propose a novel method to reduce this footprint by selecting and caching part of intermediate tensors for gradient computation. Our Intermediate Tensor Drop method (DropIT) adaptively drops components of the intermediate tensors and recovers sparsified tensors from the remaining elements in the backward pass to compute the gradient. Experiments show that we can drop up to 90% of the elements of the intermediate tensors in convolutional and fully-connected layers, saving 20% GPU memory during training while achieving higher test accuracy for standard backbones such as ResNet and Vision Transformer. Our code is available at https://github.com/ChenJoya/dropit.
Recent years have witnessed the remarkable developments made by deep learning techniques for object detection, a fundamentally challenging problem of computer vision. Nevertheless, there are still difficulties in training accurate deep object detectors, one of which is owing to the foreground-background imbalance problem. In this paper, we survey the recent advances about the solutions to the imbalance problem. First, we analyze the characteristics of the imbalance problem in different kinds of deep detectors, including one-stage and two-stage ones. Second, we divide the existing solutions into two categories: sampling heuristics and non-sampling schemes, and review them in detail. Third, we experimentally compare the performance of some state-of-the-art solutions on the COCO benchmark. Promising directions for future work are also discussed.