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Two-Level Transformer and Auxiliary Coherence Modeling for Improved Text Segmentation

Jan 03, 2020
Goran Glavaš, Swapna Somasundaran

Breaking down the structure of long texts into semantically coherent segments makes the texts more readable and supports downstream applications like summarization and retrieval. Starting from an apparent link between text coherence and segmentation, we introduce a novel supervised model for text segmentation with simple but explicit coherence modeling. Our model -- a neural architecture consisting of two hierarchically connected Transformer networks -- is a multi-task learning model that couples the sentence-level segmentation objective with the coherence objective that differentiates correct sequences of sentences from corrupt ones. The proposed model, dubbed Coherence-Aware Text Segmentation (CATS), yields state-of-the-art segmentation performance on a collection of benchmark datasets. Furthermore, by coupling CATS with cross-lingual word embeddings, we demonstrate its effectiveness in zero-shot language transfer: it can successfully segment texts in languages unseen in training.

* AAAI 2020 

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Language Models Can See: Plugging Visual Controls in Text Generation

May 05, 2022
Yixuan Su, Tian Lan, Yahui Liu, Fangyu Liu, Dani Yogatama, Yan Wang, Lingpeng Kong, Nigel Collier

Generative language models (LMs) such as GPT-2/3 can be prompted to generate text with remarkable quality. While they are designed for text-prompted generation, it remains an open question how the generation process could be guided by modalities beyond text such as images. In this work, we propose a training-free framework, called MAGIC (iMAge-Guided text generatIon with CLIP), for plugging in visual controls in the generation process and enabling LMs to perform multimodal tasks (e.g., image captioning) in a zero-shot manner. MAGIC is a simple yet efficient plug-and-play framework, which directly combines an off-the-shelf LM (i.e., GPT-2) and an image-text matching model (i.e., CLIP) for image-grounded text generation. During decoding, MAGIC influences the generation of the LM by introducing a CLIP-induced score, called magic score, which regularizes the generated result to be semantically related to a given image while being coherent to the previously generated context. Notably, the proposed decoding scheme does not involve any gradient update operation, therefore being computationally efficient. On the challenging task of zero-shot image captioning, MAGIC outperforms the state-of-the-art method by notable margins with a nearly 27 times decoding speedup. MAGIC is a flexible framework and is theoretically compatible with any text generation tasks that incorporate image grounding. In the experiments, we showcase that it is also capable of performing visually grounded story generation given both an image and a text prompt.

* 20 pages, 5 figures, 5 tables 

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DALL-Eval: Probing the Reasoning Skills and Social Biases of Text-to-Image Generative Transformers

Feb 08, 2022
Jaemin Cho, Abhay Zala, Mohit Bansal

Generating images from textual descriptions has gained a lot of attention. Recently, DALL-E, a multimodal transformer language model, and its variants have shown high-quality text-to-image generation capabilities with a simple architecture and training objective, powered by large-scale training data and computation. However, despite the interesting image generation results, there has not been a detailed analysis on how to evaluate such models. In this work, we investigate the reasoning capabilities and social biases of such text-to-image generative transformers in detail. First, we measure four visual reasoning skills: object recognition, object counting, color recognition, and spatial relation understanding. For this, we propose PaintSkills, a diagnostic dataset and evaluation toolkit that measures these four visual reasoning skills. Second, we measure the text alignment and quality of the generated images based on pretrained image captioning, image-text retrieval, and image classification models. Third, we assess social biases in the models. For this, we suggest evaluation of gender and racial biases of text-to-image generation models based on a pretrained image-text retrieval model and human evaluation. In our experiments, we show that recent text-to-image models perform better in recognizing and counting objects than recognizing colors and understanding spatial relations, while there exists a large gap between model performances and oracle accuracy on all skills. Next, we demonstrate that recent text-to-image models learn specific gender/racial biases from web image-text pairs. We also show that our automatic evaluations of visual reasoning skills and gender bias are highly correlated with human judgments. We hope our work will help guide future progress in improving text-to-image models on visual reasoning skills and social biases. Code and data at:

* 20 pages, 10 figures, 13 tables 

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Text Complexity Classification Based on Linguistic Information: Application to Intelligent Tutoring of ESL

Jan 07, 2020
M. Zakaria Kurdi

The goal of this work is to build a classifier that can identify text complexity within the context of teaching reading to English as a Second Language (ESL) learners. To present language learners with texts that are suitable to their level of English, a set of features that can describe the phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic, discursive, and psychological complexity of a given text were identified. Using a corpus of 6171 texts, which had already been classified into three different levels of difficulty by ESL experts, different experiments were conducted with five machine learning algorithms. The results showed that the adopted linguistic features provide a good overall classification performance (F-Score = 0.97). A scalability evaluation was conducted to test if such a classifier could be used within real applications, where it can be, for example, plugged into a search engine or a web-scraping module. In this evaluation, the texts in the test set are not only different from those from the training set but also of different types (ESL texts vs. children reading texts). Although the overall performance of the classifier decreased significantly (F-Score = 0.65), the confusion matrix shows that most of the classification errors are between the classes two and three (the middle-level classes) and that the system has a robust performance in categorizing texts of class one and four. This behavior can be explained by the difference in classification criteria between the two corpora. Hence, the observed results confirm the usability of such a classifier within a real-world application.

* This is an unpublished pre-print, the JDMDH journal requires submission to before the submission to the journal (see the link: 

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On the Complementarity of Images and Text for the Expression of Emotions in Social Media

Feb 11, 2022
Anna Khlyzova, Carina Silberer, Roman Klinger

Authors of posts in social media communicate their emotions and what causes them with text and images. While there is work on emotion and stimulus detection for each modality separately, it is yet unknown if the modalities contain complementary emotion information in social media. We aim at filling this research gap and contribute a novel, annotated corpus of English multimodal Reddit posts. On this resource, we develop models to automatically detect the relation between image and text, an emotion stimulus category and the emotion class. We evaluate if these tasks require both modalities and find for the image-text relations, that text alone is sufficient for most categories (complementary, illustrative, opposing): the information in the text allows to predict if an image is required for emotion understanding. The emotions of anger and sadness are best predicted with a multimodal model, while text alone is sufficient for disgust, joy, and surprise. Stimuli depicted by objects, animals, food, or a person are best predicted by image-only models, while multimodal models are most effective on art, events, memes, places, or screenshots.

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VITAL: A Visual Interpretation on Text with Adversarial Learning for Image Labeling

Aug 01, 2019
Tao Hu, Chengjiang Long, Leheng Zhang, Chunxia Xiao

In this paper, we propose a novel way to interpret text information by extracting visual feature presentation from multiple high-resolution and photo-realistic synthetic images generated by Text-to-image Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) to improve the performance of image labeling. Firstly, we design a stacked Generative Multi-Adversarial Network (GMAN), StackGMAN++, a modified version of the current state-of-the-art Text-to-image GAN, StackGAN++, to generate multiple synthetic images with various prior noises conditioned on a text. And then we extract deep visual features from the generated synthetic images to explore the underlying visual concepts for text. Finally, we combine image-level visual feature, text-level feature and visual features based on synthetic images together to predict labels for images. We conduct experiments on two benchmark datasets and the experimental results clearly demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed approach.

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TRIG: Transformer-Based Text Recognizer with Initial Embedding Guidance

Nov 16, 2021
Yue Tao, Zhiwei Jia, Runze Ma, Shugong Xu

Scene text recognition (STR) is an important bridge between images and text, attracting abundant research attention. While convolutional neural networks (CNNS) have achieved remarkable progress in this task, most of the existing works need an extra module (context modeling module) to help CNN to capture global dependencies to solve the inductive bias and strengthen the relationship between text features. Recently, the transformer has been proposed as a promising network for global context modeling by self-attention mechanism, but one of the main shortcomings, when applied to recognition, is the efficiency. We propose a 1-D split to address the challenges of complexity and replace the CNN with the transformer encoder to reduce the need for a context modeling module. Furthermore, recent methods use a frozen initial embedding to guide the decoder to decode the features to text, leading to a loss of accuracy. We propose to use a learnable initial embedding learned from the transformer encoder to make it adaptive to different input images. Above all, we introduce a novel architecture for text recognition, named TRansformer-based text recognizer with Initial embedding Guidance (TRIG), composed of three stages (transformation, feature extraction, and prediction). Extensive experiments show that our approach can achieve state-of-the-art on text recognition benchmarks.

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Traditional Chinese Synthetic Datasets Verified with Labeled Data for Scene Text Recognition

Nov 26, 2021
Yi-Chang Chen, Yu-Chuan Chang, Yen-Cheng Chang, Yi-Ren Yeh

Scene text recognition (STR) has been widely studied in academia and industry. Training a text recognition model often requires a large amount of labeled data, but data labeling can be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming, especially for Traditional Chinese text recognition. To the best of our knowledge, public datasets for Traditional Chinese text recognition are lacking. This paper presents a framework for a Traditional Chinese synthetic data engine which aims to improve text recognition model performance. We generated over 20 million synthetic data and collected over 7,000 manually labeled data TC-STR 7k-word as the benchmark. Experimental results show that a text recognition model can achieve much better accuracy either by training from scratch with our generated synthetic data or by further fine-tuning with TC-STR 7k-word.

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Spotting Separator Points at Line Terminals in Compressed Document Images for Text-line Segmentation

Aug 18, 2017
Amarnath R, P. Nagabhushan

Line separators are used to segregate text-lines from one another in document image analysis. Finding the separator points at every line terminal in a document image would enable text-line segmentation. In particular, identifying the separators in handwritten text could be a thrilling exercise. Obviously it would be challenging to perform this in the compressed version of a document image and that is the proposed objective in this research. Such an effort would prevent the computational burden of decompressing a document for text-line segmentation. Since document images are generally compressed using run length encoding (RLE) technique as per the CCITT standards, the first column in the RLE will be a white column. The value (depth) in the white column is very low when a particular line is a text line and the depth could be larger at the point of text line separation. A longer consecutive sequence of such larger depth should indicate the gap between the text lines, which provides the separator region. In case of over separation and under separation issues, corrective actions such as deletion and insertion are suggested respectively. An extensive experimentation is conducted on the compressed images of the benchmark datasets of ICDAR13 and Alireza et al [17] to demonstrate the efficacy.

* International Journal of Computer Applications 172(4): 40-47 (2017) 
* Line separators, Document image analysis, Handwritten text, Compression and decompression, RLE, CCITT. Line separator points at every line terminal in a compressed handwritten document images enabling text line segmentation 

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