Silvio Savarese


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Long Document Summarization with Top-down and Bottom-up Inference
Bo Pang | Erik Nijkamp | Wojciech Kryscinski | Silvio Savarese | Yingbo Zhou | Caiming Xiong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Text summarization aims to condense long documents and retain key information. Critical to the success of a summarization model is the faithful inference of latent representations of words or tokens in the source documents. Most recent models infer the latent representations with a transformer encoder, which is purely bottom-up and thus does not capture long-distance context well. Also, self-attention-based models face the challenge of quadratic complexity with respect to sequence length. We propose a method to improve summarization models on these two aspects. Our method assumes a hierarchical latent structure of a document where the top-level captures the long range dependency at a coarser time scale and the bottom token level preserves the details. Critically, our method enables token representations to be updated in both a bottom-up and top-down manner. In the bottom-up pass, token representations are inferred with local self-attention to leverage its efficiency. Top-down correction is then applied to allow tokens to capture global context. We demonstrate the effectiveness on a diverse set of summarization datasets, including narrative, conversational, scientific documents and news. Our model achieves state-of-the-art performance on a wide range of long document summarization benchmarks, compared to recent efficient transformers. We show that our model can summarize an entire book and achieve competitive performance using 0.27% parameters and much less training data, compared to a recent GPT-3-based model. These results indicate the general applicability and benefits of the framework.

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Best-k Search Algorithm for Neural Text Generation
Jiacheng Xu | Caiming Xiong | Silvio Savarese | Yingbo Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Modern natural language generation paradigms require a decoding strategy to obtain quality sequences out of the model. Beam search yields high-quality but low diversity outputs; stochastic approaches suffer from high variance and sometimes low quality. In this work, we propose a deterministic search algorithm balancing both quality and diversity. We first investigate the vanilla best-first search (BFS) algorithm and then propose the best-k search algorithm. Inspired by BFS, we greedily expand the top k nodes, instead of the first node, to boost efficiency and diversity. Upweighting recently discovered nodes accompanied by heap pruning ensures the completeness of the search procedure. Experiments on four NLG tasks show that best-k search yields more diverse and natural outputs compared to strong baselines, while our approach maintains high text quality. The proposed algorithm is parameter-free, lightweight, efficient, and easy-to-use.

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LAVIS: A One-stop Library for Language-Vision Intelligence
Dongxu Li | Junnan Li | Hung Le | Guangsen Wang | Silvio Savarese | Steven C.H. Hoi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

We introduce LAVIS, an open-source deep learning library for LAnguage-VISion research and applications. LAVIS aims to serve as a one-stop comprehensive library that brings recent advancements in the language-vision field accessible for researchers and practitioners, as well as fertilizing future research and development. It features a unified interface to easily access state-of-the-art image-language, video-language models and common datasets. LAVIS supports training, evaluation and benchmarking on a rich variety of tasks, including multimodal classification, retrieval, captioning, visual question answering, dialogue and pre-training. In the meantime, the library is also highly extensible and configurable, facilitating future development and customization. In this technical report, we describe design principles, key components and functionalities of the library, and also present benchmarking results across common language-vision tasks.


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Plug-and-Play VQA: Zero-shot VQA by Conjoining Large Pretrained Models with Zero Training
Anthony Meng Huat Tiong | Junnan Li | Boyang Li | Silvio Savarese | Steven C.H. Hoi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Visual question answering (VQA) is a hallmark of vision and language reasoningand a challenging task under the zero-shot setting. We propose Plug-and-Play VQA (PNP-VQA),a modular framework for zero-shot VQA.In contrast to most existing works, which require substantial adaptation of pretrained language models (PLMs) for the vision modality,PNP-VQA requires no additional training of the PLMs.Instead, we propose to use natural language and network interpretation as an intermediate representation that glues pretrained models together. We first generate question-guided informative image captions,and pass the captions to a PLM as context for question answering. Surpassing end-to-end trained baselines, PNP-VQA achieves state-of-the-art results on zero-shot VQAv2 and GQA. With 11B parameters, it outperforms the 80B-parameter Flamingo model by 8.5% on VQAv2. With 738M PLM parameters, PNP-VQA achieves an improvement of 9.1% on GQA over FewVLM with 740M PLM parameters.


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Translating Navigation Instructions in Natural Language to a High-Level Plan for Behavioral Robot Navigation
Xiaoxue Zang | Ashwini Pokle | Marynel Vázquez | Kevin Chen | Juan Carlos Niebles | Alvaro Soto | Silvio Savarese
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We propose an end-to-end deep learning model for translating free-form natural language instructions to a high-level plan for behavioral robot navigation. We use attention models to connect information from both the user instructions and a topological representation of the environment. We evaluate our model’s performance on a new dataset containing 10,050 pairs of navigation instructions. Our model significantly outperforms baseline approaches. Furthermore, our results suggest that it is possible to leverage the environment map as a relevant knowledge base to facilitate the translation of free-form navigational instruction.


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Learning Hierarchical Linguistic Descriptions of Visual Datasets
Roni Mittelman | Min Sun | Benjamin Kuipers | Silvio Savarese
Proceedings of the Workshop on Vision and Natural Language Processing