Multimodal machine learning involves integrating and modeling information from multiple heterogeneous sources of data. It is a challenging yet crucial area with numerous real-world applications in multimedia, affective computing, robotics, finance, HCI, and healthcare. This tutorial, building upon a new edition of a survey paper on multimodal ML as well as previously-given tutorials and academic courses, will describe an updated taxonomy on multimodal machine learning synthesizing its core technical challenges and major directions for future research.
Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have gained increasing popularity due to their compelling prediction performance in diverse natural language processing (NLP) tasks. When formulating a PLM-based prediction pipeline for NLP tasks, it is also crucial for the pipeline to minimize the calibration error, especially in safety-critical applications. That is, the pipeline should reliably indicate when we can trust its predictions. In particular, there are various considerations behind the pipeline: (1) the choice and (2) the size of PLM, (3) the choice of uncertainty quantifier, (4) the choice of fine-tuning loss, and many more. Although prior work has looked into some of these considerations, they usually draw conclusions based on a limited scope of empirical studies. There still lacks a holistic analysis on how to compose a well-calibrated PLM-based prediction pipeline. To fill this void, we compare a wide range of popular options for each consideration based on three prevalent NLP classification tasks and the setting of domain shift. In response, we recommend the following: (1) use ELECTRA for PLM encoding, (2) use larger PLMs if possible, (3) use Temp Scaling as the uncertainty quantifier, and (4) use Focal Loss for fine-tuning.
Mental health conditions remain underdiagnosed even in countries with common access to advanced medical care. The ability to accurately and efficiently predict mood from easily collectible data has several important implications for the early detection, intervention, and treatment of mental health disorders. One promising data source to help monitor human behavior is daily smartphone usage. However, care must be taken to summarize behaviors without identifying the user through personal (e.g., personally identifiable information) or protected (e.g., race, gender) attributes. In this paper, we study behavioral markers of daily mood using a recent dataset of mobile behaviors from adolescent populations at high risk of suicidal behaviors. Using computational models, we find that language and multimodal representations of mobile typed text (spanning typed characters, words, keystroke timings, and app usage) are predictive of daily mood. However, we find that models trained to predict mood often also capture private user identities in their intermediate representations. To tackle this problem, we evaluate approaches that obfuscate user identity while remaining predictive. By combining multimodal representations with privacy-preserving learning, we are able to push forward the performance-privacy frontier.
Text style transfer aims to controllably generate text with targeted stylistic changes while maintaining core meaning from the source sentence constant. Many of the existing style transfer benchmarks primarily focus on individual high-level semantic changes (e.g. positive to negative), which enable controllability at a high level but do not offer fine-grained control involving sentence structure, emphasis, and content of the sentence. In this paper, we introduce a large-scale benchmark, StylePTB, with (1) paired sentences undergoing 21 fine-grained stylistic changes spanning atomic lexical, syntactic, semantic, and thematic transfers of text, as well as (2) compositions of multiple transfers which allow modeling of fine-grained stylistic changes as building blocks for more complex, high-level transfers. By benchmarking existing methods on StylePTB, we find that they struggle to model fine-grained changes and have an even more difficult time composing multiple styles. As a result, StylePTB brings novel challenges that we hope will encourage future research in controllable text style transfer, compositional models, and learning disentangled representations. Solving these challenges would present important steps towards controllable text generation.
As natural language processing methods are increasingly deployed in real-world scenarios such as healthcare, legal systems, and social science, it becomes necessary to recognize the role they potentially play in shaping social biases and stereotypes. Previous work has revealed the presence of social biases in widely used word embeddings involving gender, race, religion, and other social constructs. While some methods were proposed to debias these word-level embeddings, there is a need to perform debiasing at the sentence-level given the recent shift towards new contextualized sentence representations such as ELMo and BERT. In this paper, we investigate the presence of social biases in sentence-level representations and propose a new method, Sent-Debias, to reduce these biases. We show that Sent-Debias is effective in removing biases, and at the same time, preserves performance on sentence-level downstream tasks such as sentiment analysis, linguistic acceptability, and natural language understanding. We hope that our work will inspire future research on characterizing and removing social biases from widely adopted sentence representations for fairer NLP.
Modeling multimodal language is a core research area in natural language processing. While languages such as English have relatively large multimodal language resources, other widely spoken languages across the globe have few or no large-scale datasets in this area. This disproportionately affects native speakers of languages other than English. As a step towards building more equitable and inclusive multimodal systems, we introduce the first large-scale multimodal language dataset for Spanish, Portuguese, German and French. The proposed dataset, called CMU-MOSEAS (CMU Multimodal Opinion Sentiment, Emotions and Attributes), is the largest of its kind with 40,000 total labelled sentences. It covers a diverse set topics and speakers, and carries supervision of 20 labels including sentiment (and subjectivity), emotions, and attributes. Our evaluations on a state-of-the-art multimodal model demonstrates that CMU-MOSEAS enables further research for multilingual studies in multimodal language.
Human language is a rich multimodal signal consisting of spoken words, facial expressions, body gestures, and vocal intonations. Learning representations for these spoken utterances is a complex research problem due to the presence of multiple heterogeneous sources of information. Recent advances in multimodal learning have followed the general trend of building more complex models that utilize various attention, memory and recurrent components. In this paper, we propose two simple but strong baselines to learn embeddings of multimodal utterances. The first baseline assumes a conditional factorization of the utterance into unimodal factors. Each unimodal factor is modeled using the simple form of a likelihood function obtained via a linear transformation of the embedding. We show that the optimal embedding can be derived in closed form by taking a weighted average of the unimodal features. In order to capture richer representations, our second baseline extends the first by factorizing into unimodal, bimodal, and trimodal factors, while retaining simplicity and efficiency during learning and inference. From a set of experiments across two tasks, we show strong performance on both supervised and semi-supervised multimodal prediction, as well as significant (10 times) speedups over neural models during inference. Overall, we believe that our strong baseline models offer new benchmarking options for future research in multimodal learning.
There has been an increased interest in multimodal language processing including multimodal dialog, question answering, sentiment analysis, and speech recognition. However, naturally occurring multimodal data is often imperfect as a result of imperfect modalities, missing entries or noise corruption. To address these concerns, we present a regularization method based on tensor rank minimization. Our method is based on the observation that high-dimensional multimodal time series data often exhibit correlations across time and modalities which leads to low-rank tensor representations. However, the presence of noise or incomplete values breaks these correlations and results in tensor representations of higher rank. We design a model to learn such tensor representations and effectively regularize their rank. Experiments on multimodal language data show that our model achieves good results across various levels of imperfection.
Human language is often multimodal, which comprehends a mixture of natural language, facial gestures, and acoustic behaviors. However, two major challenges in modeling such multimodal human language time-series data exist: 1) inherent data non-alignment due to variable sampling rates for the sequences from each modality; and 2) long-range dependencies between elements across modalities. In this paper, we introduce the Multimodal Transformer (MulT) to generically address the above issues in an end-to-end manner without explicitly aligning the data. At the heart of our model is the directional pairwise crossmodal attention, which attends to interactions between multimodal sequences across distinct time steps and latently adapt streams from one modality to another. Comprehensive experiments on both aligned and non-aligned multimodal time-series show that our model outperforms state-of-the-art methods by a large margin. In addition, empirical analysis suggests that correlated crossmodal signals are able to be captured by the proposed crossmodal attention mechanism in MulT.
Computational modeling of human multimodal language is an emerging research area in natural language processing spanning the language, visual and acoustic modalities. Comprehending multimodal language requires modeling not only the interactions within each modality (intra-modal interactions) but more importantly the interactions between modalities (cross-modal interactions). In this paper, we propose the Recurrent Multistage Fusion Network (RMFN) which decomposes the fusion problem into multiple stages, each of them focused on a subset of multimodal signals for specialized, effective fusion. Cross-modal interactions are modeled using this multistage fusion approach which builds upon intermediate representations of previous stages. Temporal and intra-modal interactions are modeled by integrating our proposed fusion approach with a system of recurrent neural networks. The RMFN displays state-of-the-art performance in modeling human multimodal language across three public datasets relating to multimodal sentiment analysis, emotion recognition, and speaker traits recognition. We provide visualizations to show that each stage of fusion focuses on a different subset of multimodal signals, learning increasingly discriminative multimodal representations.
Multimodal machine learning is a core research area spanning the language, visual and acoustic modalities. The central challenge in multimodal learning involves learning representations that can process and relate information from multiple modalities. In this paper, we propose two methods for unsupervised learning of joint multimodal representations using sequence to sequence (Seq2Seq) methods: a Seq2Seq Modality Translation Model and a Hierarchical Seq2Seq Modality Translation Model. We also explore multiple different variations on the multimodal inputs and outputs of these seq2seq models. Our experiments on multimodal sentiment analysis using the CMU-MOSI dataset indicate that our methods learn informative multimodal representations that outperform the baselines and achieve improved performance on multimodal sentiment analysis, specifically in the Bimodal case where our model is able to improve F1 Score by twelve points. We also discuss future directions for multimodal Seq2Seq methods.
Analyzing human multimodal language is an emerging area of research in NLP. Intrinsically this language is multimodal (heterogeneous), sequential and asynchronous; it consists of the language (words), visual (expressions) and acoustic (paralinguistic) modalities all in the form of asynchronous coordinated sequences. From a resource perspective, there is a genuine need for large scale datasets that allow for in-depth studies of this form of language. In this paper we introduce CMU Multimodal Opinion Sentiment and Emotion Intensity (CMU-MOSEI), the largest dataset of sentiment analysis and emotion recognition to date. Using data from CMU-MOSEI and a novel multimodal fusion technique called the Dynamic Fusion Graph (DFG), we conduct experimentation to exploit how modalities interact with each other in human multimodal language. Unlike previously proposed fusion techniques, DFG is highly interpretable and achieves competative performance when compared to the previous state of the art.
Multimodal research is an emerging field of artificial intelligence, and one of the main research problems in this field is multimodal fusion. The fusion of multimodal data is the process of integrating multiple unimodal representations into one compact multimodal representation. Previous research in this field has exploited the expressiveness of tensors for multimodal representation. However, these methods often suffer from exponential increase in dimensions and in computational complexity introduced by transformation of input into tensor. In this paper, we propose the Low-rank Multimodal Fusion method, which performs multimodal fusion using low-rank tensors to improve efficiency. We evaluate our model on three different tasks: multimodal sentiment analysis, speaker trait analysis, and emotion recognition. Our model achieves competitive results on all these tasks while drastically reducing computational complexity. Additional experiments also show that our model can perform robustly for a wide range of low-rank settings, and is indeed much more efficient in both training and inference compared to other methods that utilize tensor representations.