Babak Damavandi


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IMU2CLIP: Language-grounded Motion Sensor Translation with Multimodal Contrastive Learning
Seungwhan Moon | Andrea Madotto | Zhaojiang Lin | Aparajita Saraf | Amy Bearman | Babak Damavandi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

We present IMU2CLIP, a novel pre-training approach to align Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) motion sensor recordings with text and video, by projecting them into the joint representation space of Contrastive Language-Image Pre-training (CLIP). The proposed approach allows IMU2CLIP to translate human motions (as measured by IMU sensors) into their corresponding textual descriptions and videos – while preserving the transitivity across these modalities. We introduce several new IMU-based Wearable AI applications such as motion-based media search, or an LM-based multimodal reasoning with motion sensor data – all using text as the grounding platform. In addition, we show that IMU2CLIP significantly improves downstream performances when fine-tuned for each application, demonstrating its universal usage as a new pre-trained resource. Our code and models will be released publicly.

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SIMMC-VR: A Task-oriented Multimodal Dialog Dataset with Situated and Immersive VR Streams
Te-Lin Wu | Satwik Kottur | Andrea Madotto | Mahmoud Azab | Pedro Rodriguez | Babak Damavandi | Nanyun Peng | Seungwhan Moon
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Building an AI assistant that can seamlessly converse and instruct humans, in a user-centric situated scenario, requires several essential abilities:(1) spatial and temporal understanding of the situated and real-time user scenes,(2) capability of grounding the actively perceived visuals of users to conversation contexts,and (3) conversational reasoning over past utterances to perform just-in-time assistance. However, we currently lack a large-scale benchmark that captures user–assistant interactions with all of the aforementioned features. To this end, we propose SIMMC-VR, an extension of the SIMMC-2.0 dataset, to a video-grounded task-oriented dialog dataset that captures real-world AI-assisted user scenarios in VR.We propose a novel data collection paradigm that involves(1) generating object-centric multimodal dialog flows with egocentric visual streams and visually-grounded templates,and (2) manually paraphrasing the simulated dialogs for naturalness and diversity while preserving multimodal dependencies. To measure meaningful progress in the field, we propose four tasks to address the new challenges in SIMMC-VR, which require complex spatial-temporal dialog reasoning in active egocentric scenes. We benchmark the proposed tasks with strong multimodal models, and highlight the key capabilities that current models lack for future research directions.


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Navigating Connected Memories with a Task-oriented Dialog System
Satwik Kottur | Seungwhan Moon | Alborz Geramifard | Babak Damavandi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent years have seen an increasing trend in the volume of personal media captured by users, thanks to the advent of smartphones and smart glasses, resulting in large media collections. Despite conversation being an intuitive human-computer interface, current efforts focus mostly on single-shot natural language based media retrieval to aid users query their media and re-live their memories. This severely limits the search functionality as users can neither ask follow-up queries nor obtain information without first formulating a single-turn query.In this work, we propose dialogs for connected memories as a powerful tool to empower users to search their media collection through a multi-turn, interactive conversation. Towards this, we collect a new task-oriented dialog dataset COMET, which contains 11.5k user↔assistant dialogs (totalling 103k utterances), grounded in simulated personal memory graphs. We employ a resource-efficient, two-phase data collection pipeline that uses: (1) a novel multimodal dialog simulator that generates synthetic dialog flows grounded in memory graphs, and, (2) manual paraphrasing to obtain natural language utterances. We analyze COMET, formulate four main tasks to benchmark meaningful progress, and adopt state-of-the-art language models as strong baselines, in order to highlight the multimodal challenges captured by our dataset.


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SIMMC 2.0: A Task-oriented Dialog Dataset for Immersive Multimodal Conversations
Satwik Kottur | Seungwhan Moon | Alborz Geramifard | Babak Damavandi
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Next generation task-oriented dialog systems need to understand conversational contexts with their perceived surroundings, to effectively help users in the real-world multimodal environment. Existing task-oriented dialog datasets aimed towards virtual assistance fall short and do not situate the dialog in the user’s multimodal context. To overcome, we present a new dataset for Situated and Interactive Multimodal Conversations, SIMMC 2.0, which includes 11K task-oriented user<->assistant dialogs (117K utterances) in the shopping domain, grounded in immersive and photo-realistic scenes. The dialogs are collection using a two-phase pipeline: (1) A novel multimodal dialog simulator generates simulated dialog flows, with an emphasis on diversity and richness of interactions, (2) Manual paraphrasing of generating utterances to draw from natural language distribution. We provide an in-depth analysis of the collected dataset, and describe in detail the four main benchmark tasks we propose for SIMMC 2.0. Our baseline model, powered by the state-of-the-art language model, shows promising results, and highlights new challenges and directions for the community to study.