Zhenhai Zhu


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H-Transformer-1D: Fast One-Dimensional Hierarchical Attention for Sequences
Zhenhai Zhu | Radu Soricut
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We describe an efficient hierarchical method to compute attention in the Transformer architecture. The proposed attention mechanism exploits a matrix structure similar to the Hierarchical Matrix (H-Matrix) developed by the numerical analysis community, and has linear run time and memory complexity. We perform extensive experiments to show that the inductive bias embodied by our hierarchical attention is effective in capturing the hierarchical structure in the sequences typical for natural language and vision tasks. Our method is superior to alternative sub-quadratic proposals by over +6 points on average on the Long Range Arena benchmark. It also sets a new SOTA test perplexity on One-Billion Word dataset with 5x fewer model parameters than that of the previous-best Transformer-based models.


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Multimodal Pretraining for Dense Video Captioning
Gabriel Huang | Bo Pang | Zhenhai Zhu | Clara Rivera | Radu Soricut
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

Learning specific hands-on skills such as cooking, car maintenance, and home repairs increasingly happens via instructional videos. The user experience with such videos is known to be improved by meta-information such as time-stamped annotations for the main steps involved. Generating such annotations automatically is challenging, and we describe here two relevant contributions. First, we construct and release a new dense video captioning dataset, Video Timeline Tags (ViTT), featuring a variety of instructional videos together with time-stamped annotations. Second, we explore several multimodal sequence-to-sequence pretraining strategies that leverage large unsupervised datasets of videos and caption-like texts. We pretrain and subsequently finetune dense video captioning models using both YouCook2 and ViTT. We show that such models generalize well and are robust over a wide variety of instructional videos.

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Beyond Instructional Videos: Probing for More Diverse Visual-Textual Grounding on YouTube
Jack Hessel | Zhenhai Zhu | Bo Pang | Radu Soricut
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Pretraining from unlabelled web videos has quickly become the de-facto means of achieving high performance on many video understanding tasks. Features are learned via prediction of grounded relationships between visual content and automatic speech recognition (ASR) tokens. However, prior pretraining work has been limited to only instructional videos; a priori, we expect this domain to be relatively “easy:” speakers in instructional videos will often reference the literal objects/actions being depicted. We ask: can similar models be trained on more diverse video corpora? And, if so, what types of videos are “grounded” and what types are not? We fit a representative pretraining model to the diverse YouTube8M dataset, and study its success and failure cases. We find that visual-textual grounding is indeed possible across previously unexplored video categories, and that pretraining on a more diverse set results in representations that generalize to both non-instructional and instructional domains.


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A Case Study on Combining ASR and Visual Features for Generating Instructional Video Captions
Jack Hessel | Bo Pang | Zhenhai Zhu | Radu Soricut
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Instructional videos get high-traffic on video sharing platforms, and prior work suggests that providing time-stamped, subtask annotations (e.g., “heat the oil in the pan”) improves user experiences. However, current automatic annotation methods based on visual features alone perform only slightly better than constant prediction. Taking cues from prior work, we show that we can improve performance significantly by considering automatic speech recognition (ASR) tokens as input. Furthermore, jointly modeling ASR tokens and visual features results in higher performance compared to training individually on either modality. We find that unstated background information is better explained by visual features, whereas fine-grained distinctions (e.g., “add oil” vs. “add olive oil”) are disambiguated more easily via ASR tokens.