We introduce Ferret, a new Multimodal Large Language Model (MLLM) capable of understanding spatial referring of any shape or granularity within an image and accurately grounding open-vocabulary descriptions. To unify referring and grounding in the LLM paradigm, Ferret employs a novel and powerful hybrid region representation that integrates discrete coordinates and continuous features jointly to represent a region in the image. To extract the continuous features of versatile regions, we propose a spatial-aware visual sampler, adept at handling varying sparsity across different shapes. Consequently, Ferret can accept diverse region inputs, such as points, bounding boxes, and free-form shapes. To bolster the desired capability of Ferret, we curate GRIT, a comprehensive refer-and-ground instruction tuning dataset including 1.1M samples that contain rich hierarchical spatial knowledge, with 95K hard negative data to promote model robustness. The resulting model not only achieves superior performance in classical referring and grounding tasks, but also greatly outperforms existing MLLMs in region-based and localization-demanded multimodal chatting. Our evaluations also reveal a significantly improved capability of describing image details and a remarkable alleviation in object hallucination. Code and data will be available at https://github.com/apple/ml-ferret
Web-crawled datasets are pivotal to the success of pre-training vision-language models, exemplified by CLIP. However, web-crawled AltTexts can be noisy and potentially irrelevant to images, thereby undermining the crucial image-text alignment. Existing methods for rewriting captions using large language models (LLMs) have shown promise on small, curated datasets like CC3M and CC12M. Nevertheless, their efficacy on massive web-captured captions is constrained by the inherent noise and randomness in such data. In this study, we address this limitation by focusing on two key aspects: data quality and data variety. Unlike recent LLM rewriting techniques, we emphasize exploiting visual concepts and their integration into the captions to improve data quality. For data variety, we propose a novel mixed training scheme that optimally leverages AltTexts alongside newly generated Visual-enriched Captions (VeC). We use CLIP as one example and adapt the method for CLIP training on large-scale web-crawled datasets, named VeCLIP. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation of VeCLIP across small, medium, and large scales of raw data. Our results show significant advantages in image-text alignment and overall model performance, underscoring the effectiveness of VeCLIP in improving CLIP training. For example, VeCLIP achieves a remarkable over 20% improvement in COCO and Flickr30k retrieval tasks under the 12M setting. For data efficiency, we also achieve a notable over 3% improvement while using only 14% of the data employed in the vanilla CLIP and 11% in ALIGN.
Despite their remarkable achievements, modern Large Language Models (LLMs) encounter exorbitant computational and memory footprints. Recently, several works have shown significant success in training-free and data-free compression (pruning and quantization) of LLMs achieving 50-60% sparsity and reducing the bit-width down to 3 or 4 bits per weight, with negligible perplexity degradation over the uncompressed baseline. As recent research efforts are focused on developing increasingly sophisticated compression methods, our work takes a step back, and re-evaluates the effectiveness of existing SoTA compression methods, which rely on a fairly simple and widely questioned metric, perplexity (even for dense LLMs). We introduce Knowledge-Intensive Compressed LLM BenchmarK (LLM-KICK), a collection of carefully-curated tasks to re-define the evaluation protocol for compressed LLMs, which have significant alignment with their dense counterparts, and perplexity fail to capture subtle change in their true capabilities. LLM-KICK unveils many favorable merits and unfortunate plights of current SoTA compression methods: all pruning methods suffer significant performance degradation, sometimes at trivial sparsity ratios (e.g., 25-30%), and fail for N:M sparsity on knowledge-intensive tasks; current quantization methods are more successful than pruning; yet, pruned LLMs even at $\geq 50$% sparsity are robust in-context retrieval and summarization systems; among others. LLM-KICK is designed to holistically access compressed LLMs' ability for language understanding, reasoning, generation, in-context retrieval, in-context summarization, etc. We hope our study can foster the development of better LLM compression methods. All our related codes are planed to be open-sourced.
Instruction-based image editing improves the controllability and flexibility of image manipulation via natural commands without elaborate descriptions or regional masks. However, human instructions are sometimes too brief for current methods to capture and follow. Multimodal large language models (MLLMs) show promising capabilities in cross-modal understanding and visual-aware response generation via LMs. We investigate how MLLMs facilitate edit instructions and present MLLM-Guided Image Editing (MGIE). MGIE learns to derive expressive instructions and provides explicit guidance. The editing model jointly captures this visual imagination and performs manipulation through end-to-end training. We evaluate various aspects of Photoshop-style modification, global photo optimization, and local editing. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that expressive instructions are crucial to instruction-based image editing, and our MGIE can lead to a notable improvement in automatic metrics and human evaluation while maintaining competitive inference efficiency.
Sparse Mixture-of-Experts models (MoEs) have recently gained popularity due to their ability to decouple model size from inference efficiency by only activating a small subset of the model parameters for any given input token. As such, sparse MoEs have enabled unprecedented scalability, resulting in tremendous successes across domains such as natural language processing and computer vision. In this work, we instead explore the use of sparse MoEs to scale-down Vision Transformers (ViTs) to make them more attractive for resource-constrained vision applications. To this end, we propose a simplified and mobile-friendly MoE design where entire images rather than individual patches are routed to the experts. We also propose a stable MoE training procedure that uses super-class information to guide the router. We empirically show that our sparse Mobile Vision MoEs (V-MoEs) can achieve a better trade-off between performance and efficiency than the corresponding dense ViTs. For example, for the ViT-Tiny model, our Mobile V-MoE outperforms its dense counterpart by 3.39% on ImageNet-1k. For an even smaller ViT variant with only 54M FLOPs inference cost, our MoE achieves an improvement of 4.66%.
We present MOFI, a new vision foundation model designed to learn image representations from noisy entity annotated images. MOFI differs from previous work in two key aspects: ($i$) pre-training data, and ($ii$) training recipe. Regarding data, we introduce a new approach to automatically assign entity labels to images from noisy image-text pairs. Our approach involves employing a named entity recognition model to extract entities from the alt-text, and then using a CLIP model to select the correct entities as labels of the paired image. The approach is simple, does not require costly human annotation, and can be readily scaled up to billions of image-text pairs mined from the web. Through this method, we have created Image-to-Entities (I2E), a new large-scale dataset with 1 billion images and 2 million distinct entities, covering rich visual concepts in the wild. Building upon the I2E dataset, we study different training recipes, including supervised pre-training, contrastive pre-training, and multi-task learning. For constrastive pre-training, we treat entity names as free-form text, and further enrich them with entity descriptions. Experiments show that supervised pre-training with large-scale fine-grained entity labels is highly effective for image retrieval tasks, and multi-task training further improves the performance. The final MOFI model achieves 86.66% mAP on the challenging GPR1200 dataset, surpassing the previous state-of-the-art performance of 72.19% from OpenAI's CLIP model. Further experiments on zero-shot and linear probe image classification also show that MOFI outperforms a CLIP model trained on the original image-text data, demonstrating the effectiveness of the I2E dataset in learning strong image representations.
The CLIP (Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training) model and its variants are becoming the de facto backbone in many applications. However, training a CLIP model from hundreds of millions of image-text pairs can be prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, the conventional CLIP model doesn't differentiate between the visual semantics and meaning of text regions embedded in images. This can lead to non-robustness when the text in the embedded region doesn't match the image's visual appearance. In this paper, we discuss two effective approaches to improve the efficiency and robustness of CLIP training: (1) augmenting the training dataset while maintaining the same number of optimization steps, and (2) filtering out samples that contain text regions in the image. By doing so, we significantly improve the classification and retrieval accuracy on public benchmarks like ImageNet and CoCo. Filtering out images with text regions also protects the model from typographic attacks. To verify this, we build a new dataset named ImageNet with Adversarial Text Regions (ImageNet-Attr). Our filter-based CLIP model demonstrates a top-1 accuracy of 68.78\%, outperforming previous models whose accuracy was all below 50\%.
Multimodal learning is defined as learning over multiple heterogeneous input modalities such as video, audio, and text. In this work, we are concerned with understanding how models behave as the type of modalities differ between training and deployment, a situation that naturally arises in many applications of multimodal learning to hardware platforms. We present a multimodal robustness framework to provide a systematic analysis of common multimodal representation learning methods. Further, we identify robustness short-comings of these approaches and propose two intervention techniques leading to $1.5\times$-$4\times$ robustness improvements on three datasets, AudioSet, Kinetics-400 and ImageNet-Captions. Finally, we demonstrate that these interventions better utilize additional modalities, if present, to achieve competitive results of $44.2$ mAP on AudioSet 20K.
Image and text retrieval is one of the foundational tasks in the vision and language domain with multiple real-world applications. State-of-the-art approaches, e.g. CLIP, ALIGN, represent images and texts as dense embeddings and calculate the similarity in the dense embedding space as the matching score. On the other hand, sparse semantic features like bag-of-words models are more interpretable, but believed to suffer from inferior accuracy than dense representations. In this work, we show that it is possible to build a sparse semantic representation that is as powerful as, or even better than, dense presentations. We extend the CLIP model and build a sparse text and image representation (STAIR), where the image and text are mapped to a sparse token space. Each token in the space is a (sub-)word in the vocabulary, which is not only interpretable but also easy to integrate with existing information retrieval systems. STAIR model significantly outperforms a CLIP model with +$4.9\%$ and +$4.3\%$ absolute Recall@1 improvement on COCO-5k text$\rightarrow$image and image$\rightarrow$text retrieval respectively. It also achieved better performance on both of ImageNet zero-shot and linear probing compared to CLIP.