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Wei Ji

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De-fine: Decomposing and Refining Visual Programs with Auto-Feedback

Nov 25, 2023
Minghe Gao, Juncheng Li, Hao Fei, Liang Pang, Wei Ji, Guoming Wang, Wenqiao Zhang, Siliang Tang, Yueting Zhuang

Visual programming, a modular and generalizable paradigm, integrates different modules and Python operators to solve various vision-language tasks. Unlike end-to-end models that need task-specific data, it advances in performing visual processing and reasoning in an unsupervised manner. Current visual programming methods generate programs in a single pass for each task where the ability to evaluate and optimize based on feedback, unfortunately, is lacking, which consequentially limits their effectiveness for complex, multi-step problems. Drawing inspiration from benders decomposition, we introduce De-fine, a general framework that automatically decomposes complex tasks into simpler subtasks and refines programs through auto-feedback. This model-agnostic approach can improve logical reasoning performance by integrating the strengths of multiple models. Our experiments across various visual tasks show that De-fine creates more accurate and robust programs, setting new benchmarks in the field.

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Towards Natural Language-Guided Drones: GeoText-1652 Benchmark with Spatially Relation Matching

Nov 21, 2023
Meng Chu, Zhedong Zheng, Wei Ji, Tat-Seng Chua

Drone navigation through natural language commands remains a significant challenge due to the lack of publicly available multi-modal datasets and the intricate demands of fine-grained visual-text alignment. In response to this pressing need, we present a new human-computer interaction annotation benchmark called GeoText-1652, meticulously curated through a robust Large Language Model (LLM)-based data generation framework and the expertise of pre-trained vision models. This new dataset seamlessly extends the existing image dataset, \ie, University-1652, with spatial-aware text annotations, encompassing intricate image-text-bounding box associations. Besides, we introduce a new optimization objective to leverage fine-grained spatial associations, called blending spatial matching, for region-level spatial relation matching. Extensive experiments reveal that our approach maintains an exceptional recall rate under varying description complexities. This underscores the promising potential of our approach in elevating drone control and navigation through the seamless integration of natural language commands in real-world scenarios.

* 10 pages, 6 figures 
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NExT-Chat: An LMM for Chat, Detection and Segmentation

Nov 13, 2023
Ao Zhang, Wei Ji, Tat-Seng Chua

The development of large language models (LLMs) has greatly advanced the field of multimodal understanding, leading to the emergence of large multimodal models (LMMs). In order to enhance the level of visual comprehension, recent studies have equipped LMMs with region-level understanding capabilities by representing object bounding box coordinates as a series of text sequences (pixel2seq). In this paper, we introduce a novel paradigm for object location modeling called pixel2emb method, where we ask the LMM to output the location embeddings and then decoded by different decoders. This paradigm allows for different location formats (such as bounding boxes and masks) to be used in multimodal conversations Furthermore, this kind of embedding based location modeling enables the utilization of existing practices in localization tasks, such as detection and segmentation. In scenarios with limited resources, our pixel2emb demonstrates superior performance compared to existing state-of-the-art (SOTA) approaches in both the location input and output tasks under fair comparison. Leveraging the proposed pixel2emb method, we train an LMM named NExT-Chat and demonstrate its capability of handling multiple tasks like visual grounding, region caption, and grounded reasoning.

* Technical Report (project page: 
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Towards Robust Multi-Modal Reasoning via Model Selection

Oct 12, 2023
Xiangyan Liu, Rongxue Li, Wei Ji, Tao Lin

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The reasoning capabilities of LLM (Large Language Model) are widely acknowledged in recent research, inspiring studies on tool learning and autonomous agents. LLM serves as the "brain" of agent, orchestrating multiple tools for collaborative multi-step task solving. Unlike methods invoking tools like calculators or weather APIs for straightforward tasks, multi-modal agents excel by integrating diverse AI models for complex challenges. However, current multi-modal agents neglect the significance of model selection: they primarily focus on the planning and execution phases, and will only invoke predefined task-specific models for each subtask, making the execution fragile. Meanwhile, other traditional model selection methods are either incompatible with or suboptimal for the multi-modal agent scenarios, due to ignorance of dependencies among subtasks arising by multi-step reasoning. To this end, we identify the key challenges therein and propose the $\textit{M}^3$ framework as a plug-in with negligible runtime overhead at test-time. This framework improves model selection and bolsters the robustness of multi-modal agents in multi-step reasoning. In the absence of suitable benchmarks, we create MS-GQA, a new dataset specifically designed to investigate the model selection challenge in multi-modal agents. Our experiments reveal that our framework enables dynamic model selection, considering both user inputs and subtask dependencies, thereby robustifying the overall reasoning process. Our code and benchmark:

* 10 pages, 5 figures 
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Domain-wise Invariant Learning for Panoptic Scene Graph Generation

Oct 09, 2023
Li Li, You Qin, Wei Ji, Yuxiao Zhou, Roger Zimmermann

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Panoptic Scene Graph Generation (PSG) involves the detection of objects and the prediction of their corresponding relationships (predicates). However, the presence of biased predicate annotations poses a significant challenge for PSG models, as it hinders their ability to establish a clear decision boundary among different predicates. This issue substantially impedes the practical utility and real-world applicability of PSG models. To address the intrinsic bias above, we propose a novel framework to infer potentially biased annotations by measuring the predicate prediction risks within each subject-object pair (domain), and adaptively transfer the biased annotations to consistent ones by learning invariant predicate representation embeddings. Experiments show that our method significantly improves the performance of benchmark models, achieving a new state-of-the-art performance, and shows great generalization and effectiveness on PSG dataset.

* arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2307.15567 
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Towards Complex-query Referring Image Segmentation: A Novel Benchmark

Sep 29, 2023
Wei Ji, Li Li, Hao Fei, Xiangyan Liu, Xun Yang, Juncheng Li, Roger Zimmermann

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Referring Image Understanding (RIS) has been extensively studied over the past decade, leading to the development of advanced algorithms. However, there has been a lack of research investigating how existing algorithms should be benchmarked with complex language queries, which include more informative descriptions of surrounding objects and backgrounds (\eg \textit{"the black car."} vs. \textit{"the black car is parking on the road and beside the bus."}). Given the significant improvement in the semantic understanding capability of large pre-trained models, it is crucial to take a step further in RIS by incorporating complex language that resembles real-world applications. To close this gap, building upon the existing RefCOCO and Visual Genome datasets, we propose a new RIS benchmark with complex queries, namely \textbf{RIS-CQ}. The RIS-CQ dataset is of high quality and large scale, which challenges the existing RIS with enriched, specific and informative queries, and enables a more realistic scenario of RIS research. Besides, we present a nichetargeting method to better task the RIS-CQ, called dual-modality graph alignment model (\textbf{\textsc{DuMoGa}}), which outperforms a series of RIS methods.

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NExT-GPT: Any-to-Any Multimodal LLM

Sep 13, 2023
Shengqiong Wu, Hao Fei, Leigang Qu, Wei Ji, Tat-Seng Chua

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While recently Multimodal Large Language Models (MM-LLMs) have made exciting strides, they mostly fall prey to the limitation of only input-side multimodal understanding, without the ability to produce content in multiple modalities. As we humans always perceive the world and communicate with people through various modalities, developing any-to-any MM-LLMs capable of accepting and delivering content in any modality becomes essential to human-level AI. To fill the gap, we present an end-to-end general-purpose any-to-any MM-LLM system, NExT-GPT. We connect an LLM with multimodal adaptors and different diffusion decoders, enabling NExT-GPT to perceive inputs and generate outputs in arbitrary combinations of text, images, videos, and audio. By leveraging the existing well-trained highly-performing encoders and decoders, NExT-GPT is tuned with only a small amount of parameter (1%) of certain projection layers, which not only benefits low-cost training and also facilitates convenient expansion to more potential modalities. Moreover, we introduce a modality-switching instruction tuning (MosIT) and manually curate a high-quality dataset for MosIT, based on which NExT-GPT is empowered with complex cross-modal semantic understanding and content generation. Overall, our research showcases the promising possibility of building an AI agent capable of modeling universal modalities, paving the way for more human-like AI research in the community. Project page:

* work in progress 
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Empowering Dynamics-aware Text-to-Video Diffusion with Large Language Models

Aug 26, 2023
Hao Fei, Shengqiong Wu, Wei Ji, Hanwang Zhang, Tat-Seng Chua

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Text-to-video (T2V) synthesis has gained increasing attention in the community, in which the recently emerged diffusion models (DMs) have promisingly shown stronger performance than the past approaches. While existing state-of-the-art DMs are competent to achieve high-resolution video generation, they may largely suffer from key limitations (e.g., action occurrence disorders, crude video motions) with respect to the intricate temporal dynamics modeling, one of the crux of video synthesis. In this work, we investigate strengthening the awareness of video dynamics for DMs, for high-quality T2V generation. Inspired by human intuition, we design an innovative dynamic scene manager (dubbed as Dysen) module, which includes (step-1) extracting from input text the key actions with proper time-order arrangement, (step-2) transforming the action schedules into the dynamic scene graph (DSG) representations, and (step-3) enriching the scenes in the DSG with sufficient and reasonable details. Taking advantage of the existing powerful LLMs (e.g., ChatGPT) via in-context learning, Dysen realizes (nearly) human-level temporal dynamics understanding. Finally, the resulting video DSG with rich action scene details is encoded as fine-grained spatio-temporal features, integrated into the backbone T2V DM for video generating. Experiments on popular T2V datasets suggest that our framework consistently outperforms prior arts with significant margins, especially in the scenario with complex actions. Project page at

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