Figure Captioning with Reasoning and Sequence-Level Training

Charles Chen, Ruiyi Zhang, Eunyee Koh, Sungchul Kim, Scott Cohen, Tong Yu, Ryan Rossi, Razvan Bunescu

Figures, such as bar charts, pie charts, and line plots, are widely used to convey important information in a concise format. They are usually human-friendly but difficult for computers to process automatically. In this work, we investigate the problem of figure captioning where the goal is to automatically generate a natural language description of the figure. While natural image captioning has been studied extensively, figure captioning has received relatively little attention and remains a challenging problem. First, we introduce a new dataset for figure captioning, FigCAP, based on FigureQA. Second, we propose two novel attention mechanisms. To achieve accurate generation of labels in figures, we propose Label Maps Attention. To model the relations between figure labels, we propose Relation Maps Attention. Third, we use sequence-level training with reinforcement learning in order to directly optimizes evaluation metrics, which alleviates the exposure bias issue and further improves the models in generating long captions. Extensive experiments show that the proposed method outperforms the baselines, thus demonstrating a significant potential for the automatic captioning of vast repositories of figures.

Knowledge Graph



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