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Temporal Query Networks for Fine-grained Video Understanding

Apr 19, 2021
Chuhan Zhang, Ankush Gupta, Andrew Zisserman

Our objective in this work is fine-grained classification of actions in untrimmed videos, where the actions may be temporally extended or may span only a few frames of the video. We cast this into a query-response mechanism, where each query addresses a particular question, and has its own response label set. We make the following four contributions: (I) We propose a new model - a Temporal Query Network - which enables the query-response functionality, and a structural understanding of fine-grained actions. It attends to relevant segments for each query with a temporal attention mechanism, and can be trained using only the labels for each query. (ii) We propose a new way - stochastic feature bank update - to train a network on videos of various lengths with the dense sampling required to respond to fine-grained queries. (iii) We compare the TQN to other architectures and text supervision methods, and analyze their pros and cons. Finally, (iv) we evaluate the method extensively on the FineGym and Diving48 benchmarks for fine-grained action classification and surpass the state-of-the-art using only RGB features.

* Accepted to CVPR 2021(Oral). Project page: 

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On the Faithfulness Measurements for Model Interpretations

Apr 18, 2021
Fan Yin, Zhouxing Shi, Cho-Jui Hsieh, Kai-Wei Chang

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of a variety of post-hoc interpretations that aim to uncover how natural language processing (NLP) models make predictions. Despite the surge of new interpretations, it remains an open problem how to define and quantitatively measure the faithfulness of interpretations, i.e., to what extent they conform to the reasoning process behind the model. To tackle these issues, we start with three criteria: the removal-based criterion, the sensitivity of interpretations, and the stability of interpretations, that quantify different notions of faithfulness, and propose novel paradigms to systematically evaluate interpretations in NLP. Our results show that the performance of interpretations under different criteria of faithfulness could vary substantially. Motivated by the desideratum of these faithfulness notions, we introduce a new class of interpretation methods that adopt techniques from the adversarial robustness domain. Empirical results show that our proposed methods achieve top performance under all three criteria. Along with experiments and analysis on both the text classification and the dependency parsing tasks, we come to a more comprehensive understanding of the diverse set of interpretations.

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UniDrop: A Simple yet Effective Technique to Improve Transformer without Extra Cost

Apr 11, 2021
Zhen Wu, Lijun Wu, Qi Meng, Yingce Xia, Shufang Xie, Tao Qin, Xinyu Dai, Tie-Yan Liu

Transformer architecture achieves great success in abundant natural language processing tasks. The over-parameterization of the Transformer model has motivated plenty of works to alleviate its overfitting for superior performances. With some explorations, we find simple techniques such as dropout, can greatly boost model performance with a careful design. Therefore, in this paper, we integrate different dropout techniques into the training of Transformer models. Specifically, we propose an approach named UniDrop to unites three different dropout techniques from fine-grain to coarse-grain, i.e., feature dropout, structure dropout, and data dropout. Theoretically, we demonstrate that these three dropouts play different roles from regularization perspectives. Empirically, we conduct experiments on both neural machine translation and text classification benchmark datasets. Extensive results indicate that Transformer with UniDrop can achieve around 1.5 BLEU improvement on IWSLT14 translation tasks, and better accuracy for the classification even using strong pre-trained RoBERTa as backbone.

* Accepted by NAACL 2021 

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AI4D -- African Language Program

Apr 06, 2021
Kathleen Siminyu, Godson Kalipe, Davor Orlic, Jade Abbott, Vukosi Marivate, Sackey Freshia, Prateek Sibal, Bhanu Neupane, David I. Adelani, Amelia Taylor, Jamiil Toure ALI, Kevin Degila, Momboladji Balogoun, Thierno Ibrahima DIOP, Davis David, Chayma Fourati, Hatem Haddad, Malek Naski

Advances in speech and language technologies enable tools such as voice-search, text-to-speech, speech recognition and machine translation. These are however only available for high resource languages like English, French or Chinese. Without foundational digital resources for African languages, which are considered low-resource in the digital context, these advanced tools remain out of reach. This work details the AI4D - African Language Program, a 3-part project that 1) incentivised the crowd-sourcing, collection and curation of language datasets through an online quantitative and qualitative challenge, 2) supported research fellows for a period of 3-4 months to create datasets annotated for NLP tasks, and 3) hosted competitive Machine Learning challenges on the basis of these datasets. Key outcomes of the work so far include 1) the creation of 9+ open source, African language datasets annotated for a variety of ML tasks, and 2) the creation of baseline models for these datasets through hosting of competitive ML challenges.

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MMBERT: Multimodal BERT Pretraining for Improved Medical VQA

Apr 03, 2021
Yash Khare, Viraj Bagal, Minesh Mathew, Adithi Devi, U Deva Priyakumar, CV Jawahar

Images in the medical domain are fundamentally different from the general domain images. Consequently, it is infeasible to directly employ general domain Visual Question Answering (VQA) models for the medical domain. Additionally, medical images annotation is a costly and time-consuming process. To overcome these limitations, we propose a solution inspired by self-supervised pretraining of Transformer-style architectures for NLP, Vision and Language tasks. Our method involves learning richer medical image and text semantic representations using Masked Language Modeling (MLM) with image features as the pretext task on a large medical image+caption dataset. The proposed solution achieves new state-of-the-art performance on two VQA datasets for radiology images -- VQA-Med 2019 and VQA-RAD, outperforming even the ensemble models of previous best solutions. Moreover, our solution provides attention maps which help in model interpretability. The code is available at

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Towards Personalised and Document-level Machine Translation of Dialogue

Feb 11, 2021
Sebastian T. Vincent

State-of-the-art (SOTA) neural machine translation (NMT) systems translate texts at sentence level, ignoring context: intra-textual information, like the previous sentence, and extra-textual information, like the gender of the speaker. Because of that, some sentences are translated incorrectly. Personalised NMT (PersNMT) and document-level NMT (DocNMT) incorporate this information into the translation process. Both fields are relatively new and previous work within them is limited. Moreover, there are no readily available robust evaluation metrics for them, which makes it difficult to develop better systems, as well as track global progress and compare different methods. This thesis proposal focuses on PersNMT and DocNMT for the domain of dialogue extracted from TV subtitles in five languages: English, Brazilian Portuguese, German, French and Polish. Three main challenges are addressed: (1) incorporating extra-textual information directly into NMT systems; (2) improving the machine translation of cohesion devices; (3) reliable evaluation for PersNMT and DocNMT.

* Thesis Proposal, 6 pages, 7 figures, accepted to the EACL2021 Student Workshop 

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HRCenterNet: An Anchorless Approach to Chinese Character Segmentation in Historical Documents

Dec 10, 2020
Chia-Wei Tang, Chao-Lin Liu, Po-Sen Chiu

The information provided by historical documents has always been indispensable in the transmission of human civilization, but it has also made these books susceptible to damage due to various factors. Thanks to recent technology, the automatic digitization of these documents are one of the quickest and most effective means of preservation. The main steps of automatic text digitization can be divided into two stages, mainly: character segmentation and character recognition, where the recognition results depend largely on the accuracy of segmentation. Therefore, in this study, we will only focus on the character segmentation of historical Chinese documents. In this research, we propose a model named HRCenterNet, which is combined with an anchorless object detection method and parallelized architecture. The MTHv2 dataset consists of over 3000 Chinese historical document images and over 1 million individual Chinese characters; with these enormous data, the segmentation capability of our model achieves IoU 0.81 on average with the best speed-accuracy trade-off compared to the others. Our source code is available at

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Does Yoga Make You Happy? Analyzing Twitter User Happiness using Textual and Temporal Information

Dec 05, 2020
Tunazzina Islam, Dan Goldwasser

Although yoga is a multi-component practice to hone the body and mind and be known to reduce anxiety and depression, there is still a gap in understanding people's emotional state related to yoga in social media. In this study, we investigate the causal relationship between practicing yoga and being happy by incorporating textual and temporal information of users using Granger causality. To find out causal features from the text, we measure two variables (i) Yoga activity level based on content analysis and (ii) Happiness level based on emotional state. To understand users' yoga activity, we propose a joint embedding model based on the fusion of neural networks with attention mechanism by leveraging users' social and textual information. For measuring the emotional state of yoga users (target domain), we suggest a transfer learning approach to transfer knowledge from an attention-based neural network model trained on a source domain. Our experiment on Twitter dataset demonstrates that there are 1447 users where "yoga Granger-causes happiness".

* accepted at IEEE BigData 2020 

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WikiAsp: A Dataset for Multi-domain Aspect-based Summarization

Nov 16, 2020
Hiroaki Hayashi, Prashant Budania, Peng Wang, Chris Ackerson, Raj Neervannan, Graham Neubig

Aspect-based summarization is the task of generating focused summaries based on specific points of interest. Such summaries aid efficient analysis of text, such as quickly understanding reviews or opinions from different angles. However, due to large differences in the type of aspects for different domains (e.g., sentiment, product features), the development of previous models has tended to be domain-specific. In this paper, we propose WikiAsp, a large-scale dataset for multi-domain aspect-based summarization that attempts to spur research in the direction of open-domain aspect-based summarization. Specifically, we build the dataset using Wikipedia articles from 20 different domains, using the section titles and boundaries of each article as a proxy for aspect annotation. We propose several straightforward baseline models for this task and conduct experiments on the dataset. Results highlight key challenges that existing summarization models face in this setting, such as proper pronoun handling of quoted sources and consistent explanation of time-sensitive events.

* Transaction of the ACL 

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MUSE: Illustrating Textual Attributes by Portrait Generation

Nov 09, 2020
Xiaodan Hu, Pengfei Yu, Kevin Knight, Heng Ji, Bo Li, Honghui Shi

We propose a novel approach, MUSE, to illustrate textual attributes visually via portrait generation. MUSE takes a set of attributes written in text, in addition to facial features extracted from a photo of the subject as input. We propose 11 attribute types to represent inspirations from a subject's profile, emotion, story, and environment. We propose a novel stacked neural network architecture by extending an image-to-image generative model to accept textual attributes. Experiments show that our approach significantly outperforms several state-of-the-art methods without using textual attributes, with Inception Score score increased by 6% and Fr\'echet Inception Distance (FID) score decreased by 11%, respectively. We also propose a new attribute reconstruction metric to evaluate whether the generated portraits preserve the subject's attributes. Experiments show that our approach can accurately illustrate 78% textual attributes, which also help MUSE capture the subject in a more creative and expressive way.

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