09,24,2021

News Blog Paper China
Audio Captioning with Composition of Acoustic and Semantic Information2021-05-13   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Generating audio captions is a new research area that combines audio and natural language processing to create meaningful textual descriptions for audio clips. To address this problem, previous studies mostly use the encoder-decoder based models without considering semantic information. To fill this gap, we present a novel encoder-decoder architecture using bi-directional Gated Recurrent Units (BiGRU) with audio and semantic embeddings. We extract semantic embedding by obtaining subjects and verbs from the audio clip captions and combine these embedding with audio embedding to feed the BiGRU-based encoder-decoder model. To enable semantic embeddings for the test audios, we introduce a Multilayer Perceptron classifier to predict the semantic embeddings of those clips. We also present exhaustive experiments to show the efficiency of different features and datasets for our proposed model the audio captioning task. To extract audio features, we use the log Mel energy features, VGGish embeddings, and a pretrained audio neural network (PANN) embeddings. Extensive experiments on two audio captioning datasets Clotho and AudioCaps show that our proposed model outperforms state-of-the-art audio captioning models across different evaluation metrics and using the semantic information improves the captioning performance. Keywords: Audio captioning; PANNs; VGGish; GRU; BiGRU.
 
Audio Captioning using Gated Recurrent Units2020-06-05   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Audio captioning is a recently proposed task for automatically generating a textual description of a given audio clip. In this study, a novel deep network architecture with audio embeddings is presented to predict audio captions. Within the aim of extracting audio features in addition to log Mel energies, VGGish audio embedding model is used to explore the usability of audio embeddings in the audio captioning task. The proposed architecture encodes audio and text input modalities separately and combines them before the decoding stage. Audio encoding is conducted through Bi-directional Gated Recurrent Unit (BiGRU) while GRU is used for the text encoding phase. Following this, we evaluate our model by means of the newly published audio captioning performance dataset, namely Clotho, to compare the experimental results with the literature. Our experimental results show that the proposed BiGRU-based deep model outperforms the state of the art results.
 
Multi-task Regularization Based on Infrequent Classes for Audio Captioning2020-07-09   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Audio captioning is a multi-modal task, focusing on using natural language for describing the contents of general audio. Most audio captioning methods are based on deep neural networks, employing an encoder-decoder scheme and a dataset with audio clips and corresponding natural language descriptions (i.e. captions). A significant challenge for audio captioning is the distribution of words in the captions: some words are very frequent but acoustically non-informative, i.e. the function words (e.g. "a", "the"), and other words are infrequent but informative, i.e. the content words (e.g. adjectives, nouns). In this paper we propose two methods to mitigate this class imbalance problem. First, in an autoencoder setting for audio captioning, we weigh each word's contribution to the training loss inversely proportional to its number of occurrences in the whole dataset. Secondly, in addition to multi-class, word-level audio captioning task, we define a multi-label side task based on clip-level content word detection by training a separate decoder. We use the loss from the second task to regularize the jointly trained encoder for the audio captioning task. We evaluate our method using Clotho, a recently published, wide-scale audio captioning dataset, and our results show an increase of 37\% relative improvement with SPIDEr metric over the baseline method.
 
Listen carefully and tell: an audio captioning system based on residual learning and gammatone audio representation2020-07-08   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Automated audio captioning is machine listening task whose goal is to describe an audio using free text. An automated audio captioning system has to be implemented as it accepts an audio as input and outputs as textual description, that is, the caption of the signal. This task can be useful in many applications such as automatic content description or machine-to-machine interaction. In this work, an automatic audio captioning based on residual learning on the encoder phase is proposed. The encoder phase is implemented via different Residual Networks configurations. The decoder phase (create the caption) is run using recurrent layers plus attention mechanism. The audio representation chosen has been Gammatone. Results show that the framework proposed in this work surpass the baseline system in challenge results.
 
Automated Audio Captioning with Recurrent Neural Networks2017-10-24   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
We present the first approach to automated audio captioning. We employ an encoder-decoder scheme with an alignment model in between. The input to the encoder is a sequence of log mel-band energies calculated from an audio file, while the output is a sequence of words, i.e. a caption. The encoder is a multi-layered, bi-directional gated recurrent unit (GRU) and the decoder a multi-layered GRU with a classification layer connected to the last GRU of the decoder. The classification layer and the alignment model are fully connected layers with shared weights between timesteps. The proposed method is evaluated using data drawn from a commercial sound effects library, ProSound Effects. The resulting captions were rated through metrics utilized in machine translation and image captioning fields. Results from metrics show that the proposed method can predict words appearing in the original caption, but not always correctly ordered.
 
Empirical Autopsy of Deep Video Captioning Frameworks2019-11-21   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Contemporary deep learning based video captioning follows encoder-decoder framework. In encoder, visual features are extracted with 2D/3D Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) and a transformed version of those features is passed to the decoder. The decoder uses word embeddings and a language model to map visual features to natural language captions. Due to its composite nature, the encoder-decoder pipeline provides the freedom of multiple choices for each of its components, e.g the choices of CNNs models, feature transformations, word embeddings, and language models etc. Component selection can have drastic effects on the overall video captioning performance. However, current literature is void of any systematic investigation in this regard. This article fills this gap by providing the first thorough empirical analysis of the role that each major component plays in a contemporary video captioning pipeline. We perform extensive experiments by varying the constituent components of the video captioning framework, and quantify the performance gains that are possible by mere component selection. We use the popular MSVD dataset as the test-bed, and demonstrate that substantial performance gains are possible by careful selection of the constituent components without major changes to the pipeline itself. These results are expected to provide guiding principles for future research in the fast growing direction of video captioning.
 
A Comprehensive Survey of Deep Learning for Image Captioning2018-10-14   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Generating a description of an image is called image captioning. Image captioning requires to recognize the important objects, their attributes and their relationships in an image. It also needs to generate syntactically and semantically correct sentences. Deep learning-based techniques are capable of handling the complexities and challenges of image captioning. In this survey paper, we aim to present a comprehensive review of existing deep learning-based image captioning techniques. We discuss the foundation of the techniques to analyze their performances, strengths and limitations. We also discuss the datasets and the evaluation metrics popularly used in deep learning based automatic image captioning.
 
Self-supervised Audio Spatialization with Correspondence Classifier2019-05-13   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Spatial audio is an essential medium to audiences for 3D visual and auditory experience. However, the recording devices and techniques are expensive or inaccessible to the general public. In this work, we propose a self-supervised audio spatialization network that can generate spatial audio given the corresponding video and monaural audio. To enhance spatialization performance, we use an auxiliary classifier to classify ground-truth videos and those with audio where the left and right channels are swapped. We collect a large-scale video dataset with spatial audio to validate the proposed method. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model on the audio spatialization task.
 
Egoshots, an ego-vision life-logging dataset and semantic fidelity metric to evaluate diversity in image captioning models2020-03-27   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Image captioning models have been able to generate grammatically correct and human understandable sentences. However most of the captions convey limited information as the model used is trained on datasets that do not caption all possible objects existing in everyday life. Due to this lack of prior information most of the captions are biased to only a few objects present in the scene, hence limiting their usage in daily life. In this paper, we attempt to show the biased nature of the currently existing image captioning models and present a new image captioning dataset, Egoshots, consisting of 978 real life images with no captions. We further exploit the state of the art pre-trained image captioning and object recognition networks to annotate our images and show the limitations of existing works. Furthermore, in order to evaluate the quality of the generated captions, we propose a new image captioning metric, object based Semantic Fidelity (SF). Existing image captioning metrics can evaluate a caption only in the presence of their corresponding annotations; however, SF allows evaluating captions generated for images without annotations, making it highly useful for real life generated captions.
 
Clotho: An Audio Captioning Dataset2019-10-21   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Audio captioning is the novel task of general audio content description using free text. It is an intermodal translation task (not speech-to-text), where a system accepts as an input an audio signal and outputs the textual description (i.e. the caption) of that signal. In this paper we present Clotho, a dataset for audio captioning consisting of 4981 audio samples of 15 to 30 seconds duration and 24 905 captions of eight to 20 words length, and a baseline method to provide initial results. Clotho is built with focus on audio content and caption diversity, and the splits of the data are not hampering the training or evaluation of methods. All sounds are from the Freesound platform, and captions are crowdsourced using Amazon Mechanical Turk and annotators from English speaking countries. Unique words, named entities, and speech transcription are removed with post-processing. Clotho is freely available online (https://zenodo.org/record/3490684).
 
Autoencoder Based Architecture For Fast & Real Time Audio Style Transfer2018-12-26   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Recently, there has been great interest in the field of audio style transfer, where a stylized audio is generated by imposing the style of a reference audio on the content of a target audio. We improve on the current approaches which use neural networks to extract the content and the style of the audio signal and propose a new autoencoder based architecture for the task. This network generates a stylized audio for a content audio in a single forward pass. The proposed network architecture proves to be advantageous over the quality of audio produced and the time taken to train the network. The network is experimented on speech signals to confirm the validity of our proposal.
 
Diverse and Styled Image Captioning Using SVD-Based Mixture of Recurrent Experts2020-07-07   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
With great advances in vision and natural language processing, the generation of image captions becomes a need. In a recent paper, Mathews, Xie and He [1], extended a new model to generate styled captions by separating semantics and style. In continuation of this work, here a new captioning model is developed including an image encoder to extract the features, a mixture of recurrent networks to embed the set of extracted features to a set of words, and a sentence generator that combines the obtained words as a stylized sentence. The resulted system that entitled as Mixture of Recurrent Experts (MoRE), uses a new training algorithm that derives singular value decomposition (SVD) from weighting matrices of Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) to increase the diversity of captions. Each decomposition step depends on a distinctive factor based on the number of RNNs in MoRE. Since the used sentence generator gives a stylized language corpus without paired images, our captioning model can do the same. Besides, the styled and diverse captions are extracted without training on a densely labeled or styled dataset. To validate this captioning model, we use Microsoft COCO which is a standard factual image caption dataset. We show that the proposed captioning model can generate a diverse and stylized image captions without the necessity of extra-labeling. The results also show better descriptions in terms of content accuracy.
 
Comparison and Analysis of Deep Audio Embeddings for Music Emotion Recognition2021-04-13   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Emotion is a complicated notion present in music that is hard to capture even with fine-tuned feature engineering. In this paper, we investigate the utility of state-of-the-art pre-trained deep audio embedding methods to be used in the Music Emotion Recognition (MER) task. Deep audio embedding methods allow us to efficiently capture the high dimensional features into a compact representation. We implement several multi-class classifiers with deep audio embeddings to predict emotion semantics in music. We investigate the effectiveness of L3-Net and VGGish deep audio embedding methods for music emotion inference over four music datasets. The experiments with several classifiers on the task show that the deep audio embedding solutions can improve the performances of the previous baseline MER models. We conclude that deep audio embeddings represent musical emotion semantics for the MER task without expert human engineering.
 
MusCaps: Generating Captions for Music Audio2021-04-24   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Content-based music information retrieval has seen rapid progress with the adoption of deep learning. Current approaches to high-level music description typically make use of classification models, such as in auto-tagging or genre and mood classification. In this work, we propose to address music description via audio captioning, defined as the task of generating a natural language description of music audio content in a human-like manner. To this end, we present the first music audio captioning model, MusCaps, consisting of an encoder-decoder with temporal attention. Our method combines convolutional and recurrent neural network architectures to jointly process audio-text inputs through a multimodal encoder and leverages pre-training on audio data to obtain representations that effectively capture and summarise musical features in the input. Evaluation of the generated captions through automatic metrics shows that our method outperforms a baseline designed for non-music audio captioning. Through an ablation study, we unveil that this performance boost can be mainly attributed to pre-training of the audio encoder, while other design choices - modality fusion, decoding strategy and the use of attention - contribute only marginally. Our model represents a shift away from classification-based music description and combines tasks requiring both auditory and linguistic understanding to bridge the semantic gap in music information retrieval.
 
Improving Image Captioning with Conditional Generative Adversarial Nets2019-02-12   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
In this paper, we propose a novel conditional-generative-adversarial-nets-based image captioning framework as an extension of traditional reinforcement-learning (RL)-based encoder-decoder architecture. To deal with the inconsistent evaluation problem among different objective language metrics, we are motivated to design some "discriminator" networks to automatically and progressively determine whether generated caption is human described or machine generated. Two kinds of discriminator architectures (CNN and RNN-based structures) are introduced since each has its own advantages. The proposed algorithm is generic so that it can enhance any existing RL-based image captioning framework and we show that the conventional RL training method is just a special case of our approach. Empirically, we show consistent improvements over all language evaluation metrics for different state-of-the-art image captioning models. In addition, the well-trained discriminators can also be viewed as objective image captioning evaluators
 
B-SCST: Bayesian Self-Critical Sequence Training for Image Captioning2020-06-28   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Bayesian deep neural networks (DNNs) can provide a mathematically grounded framework to quantify uncertainty in predictions from image captioning models. We propose a Bayesian variant of policy-gradient based reinforcement learning training technique for image captioning models to directly optimize non-differentiable image captioning quality metrics such as CIDEr-D. We extend the well-known Self-Critical Sequence Training (SCST) approach for image captioning models by incorporating Bayesian inference, and refer to it as B-SCST. The "baseline" for the policy-gradients in B-SCST is generated by averaging predictive quality metrics (CIDEr-D) of the captions drawn from the distribution obtained using a Bayesian DNN model. We infer this predictive distribution using Monte Carlo (MC) dropout approximate variational inference. We show that B-SCST improves CIDEr-D scores on Flickr30k, MS COCO and VizWiz image captioning datasets, compared to the SCST approach. We also provide a study of uncertainty quantification for the predicted captions, and demonstrate that it correlates well with the CIDEr-D scores. To our knowledge, this is the first such analysis, and it can improve the interpretability of image captioning model outputs, which is critical for practical applications.
 
Compositional Generalization in Image Captioning2019-09-16   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Image captioning models are usually evaluated on their ability to describe a held-out set of images, not on their ability to generalize to unseen concepts. We study the problem of compositional generalization, which measures how well a model composes unseen combinations of concepts when describing images. State-of-the-art image captioning models show poor generalization performance on this task. We propose a multi-task model to address the poor performance, that combines caption generation and image--sentence ranking, and uses a decoding mechanism that re-ranks the captions according their similarity to the image. This model is substantially better at generalizing to unseen combinations of concepts compared to state-of-the-art captioning models.
 
Multi-modal Dense Video Captioning2020-05-05   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Dense video captioning is a task of localizing interesting events from an untrimmed video and producing textual description (captions) for each localized event. Most of the previous works in dense video captioning are solely based on visual information and completely ignore the audio track. However, audio, and speech, in particular, are vital cues for a human observer in understanding an environment. In this paper, we present a new dense video captioning approach that is able to utilize any number of modalities for event description. Specifically, we show how audio and speech modalities may improve a dense video captioning model. We apply automatic speech recognition (ASR) system to obtain a temporally aligned textual description of the speech (similar to subtitles) and treat it as a separate input alongside video frames and the corresponding audio track. We formulate the captioning task as a machine translation problem and utilize recently proposed Transformer architecture to convert multi-modal input data into textual descriptions. We demonstrate the performance of our model on ActivityNet Captions dataset. The ablation studies indicate a considerable contribution from audio and speech components suggesting that these modalities contain substantial complementary information to video frames. Furthermore, we provide an in-depth analysis of the ActivityNet Caption results by leveraging the category tags obtained from original YouTube videos. Code is publicly available: github.com/v-iashin/MDVC
 
nocaps: novel object captioning at scale2019-09-30   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Image captioning models have achieved impressive results on datasets containing limited visual concepts and large amounts of paired image-caption training data. However, if these models are to ever function in the wild, a much larger variety of visual concepts must be learned, ideally from less supervision. To encourage the development of image captioning models that can learn visual concepts from alternative data sources, such as object detection datasets, we present the first large-scale benchmark for this task. Dubbed 'nocaps', for novel object captioning at scale, our benchmark consists of 166,100 human-generated captions describing 15,100 images from the OpenImages validation and test sets. The associated training data consists of COCO image-caption pairs, plus OpenImages image-level labels and object bounding boxes. Since OpenImages contains many more classes than COCO, nearly 400 object classes seen in test images have no or very few associated training captions (hence, nocaps). We extend existing novel object captioning models to establish strong baselines for this benchmark and provide analysis to guide future work on this task.
 
Active Learning for Video Description With Cluster-Regularized Ensemble Ranking2020-07-29   ${\displaystyle \cong }$
Automatic video captioning aims to train models to generate text descriptions for all segments in a video, however, the most effective approaches require large amounts of manual annotation which is slow and expensive. Active learning is a promising way to efficiently build a training set for video captioning tasks while reducing the need to manually label uninformative examples. In this work we both explore various active learning approaches for automatic video captioning and show that a cluster-regularized ensemble strategy provides the best active learning approach to efficiently gather training sets for video captioning. We evaluate our approaches on the MSR-VTT and LSMDC datasets using both transformer and LSTM based captioning models and show that our novel strategy can achieve high performance while using up to 60% fewer training data than the strong state of the art baselines.