Andreas Bulling


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Neuro-Symbolic Visual Dialog
Adnen Abdessaied | Mihai Bâce | Andreas Bulling
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We propose Neuro-Symbolic Visual Dialog (NSVD) —the first method to combine deep learning and symbolic program execution for multi-round visually-grounded reasoning. NSVD significantly outperforms existing purely-connectionist methods on two key challenges inherent to visual dialog: long-distance co-reference resolution as well as vanishing question-answering performance. We demonstrate the latter by proposing a more realistic and stricter evaluation scheme in which we use predicted answers for the full dialog history when calculating accuracy. We describe two variants of our model and show that using this new scheme, our best model achieves an accuracy of 99.72% on CLEVR-Dialog—a relative improvement of more than 10% over the state of the art—while only requiring a fraction of training data. Moreover, we demonstrate that our neuro-symbolic models have a higher mean first failure round, are more robust against incomplete dialog histories, and generalise better not only to dialogs that are up to three times longer than those seen during training but also to unseen question types and scenes.

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Video Language Co-Attention with Multimodal Fast-Learning Feature Fusion for VideoQA
Adnen Abdessaied | Ekta Sood | Andreas Bulling
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

We propose the Video Language Co-Attention Network (VLCN) – a novel memory-enhanced model for Video Question Answering (VideoQA). Our model combines two original contributions”:" A multi-modal fast-learning feature fusion (FLF) block and a mechanism that uses self-attended language features to separately guide neural attention on both static and dynamic visual features extracted from individual video frames and short video clips. When trained from scratch, VLCN achieves competitive results with the state of the art on both MSVD-QA and MSRVTT-QA with 38.06% and 36.01% test accuracies, respectively. Through an ablation study, we further show that FLF improves generalization across different VideoQA datasets and performance for question types that are notoriously challenging in current datasets, such as long questions that require deeper reasoning as well as questions with rare answers.


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VQA-MHUG: A Gaze Dataset to Study Multimodal Neural Attention in Visual Question Answering
Ekta Sood | Fabian Kögel | Florian Strohm | Prajit Dhar | Andreas Bulling
Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

We present VQA-MHUG – a novel 49-participant dataset of multimodal human gaze on both images and questions during visual question answering (VQA) collected using a high-speed eye tracker. We use our dataset to analyze the similarity between human and neural attentive strategies learned by five state-of-the-art VQA models: Modular Co-Attention Network (MCAN) with either grid or region features, Pythia, Bilinear Attention Network (BAN), and the Multimodal Factorized Bilinear Pooling Network (MFB). While prior work has focused on studying the image modality, our analyses show – for the first time – that for all models, higher correlation with human attention on text is a significant predictor of VQA performance. This finding points at a potential for improving VQA performance and, at the same time, calls for further research on neural text attention mechanisms and their integration into architectures for vision and language tasks, including but potentially also beyond VQA.


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Interpreting Attention Models with Human Visual Attention in Machine Reading Comprehension
Ekta Sood | Simon Tannert | Diego Frassinelli | Andreas Bulling | Ngoc Thang Vu
Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

While neural networks with attention mechanisms have achieved superior performance on many natural language processing tasks, it remains unclear to which extent learned attention resembles human visual attention. In this paper, we propose a new method that leverages eye-tracking data to investigate the relationship between human visual attention and neural attention in machine reading comprehension. To this end, we introduce a novel 23 participant eye tracking dataset - MQA-RC, in which participants read movie plots and answered pre-defined questions. We compare state of the art networks based on long short-term memory (LSTM), convolutional neural models (CNN) and XLNet Transformer architectures. We find that higher similarity to human attention and performance significantly correlates to the LSTM and CNN models. However, we show this relationship does not hold true for the XLNet models – despite the fact that the XLNet performs best on this challenging task. Our results suggest that different architectures seem to learn rather different neural attention strategies and similarity of neural to human attention does not guarantee best performance.


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A Multimodal Corpus of Expert Gaze and Behavior during Phonetic Segmentation Tasks
Arif Khan | Ingmar Steiner | Yusuke Sugano | Andreas Bulling | Ross Macdonald
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)