Fusion or Defusion? Flexible Vision-and-Language Pre-Training
Rongyi Sun | Ziran Li | Yifeng Ding | Qifan Wang | Jingang Wang | Haitao Zheng | Wei Wu | Yunsen Xian
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023
Existing approaches in the vision-and-language pre-training (VLP) paradigm mainly deploy either fusion-based encoders or dual-encoders, failing to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency in downstream multimodal tasks. In this paper, we build a flexible VLP model by incorporating cross-modal fusions into a dual-encoder architecture, where the introduced fusion modules can be easily decoupled from the dual encoder so as to switch the model to a fusion-free one. To better absorb cross-modal features from the fusion modules, we design a cross-modal knowledge transfer strategy along with other comprehensive pre-training tasks to guide the training process, which can further strengthen both the fusion-based and fusion-free representation learning. Extensive experiments conducted on various downstream vision-language tasks show that our proposed model is well-equipped with effectiveness as well as efficiency, demonstrating a superior performance compared with other strong VLP models.