UniDual: A Unified Model for Image and Video Understanding

Yufei Wang, Du Tran, Lorenzo Torresani

Although a video is effectively a sequence of images, visual perception systems typically model images and videos separately, thus failing to exploit the correlation and the synergy provided by these two media. While a few prior research efforts have explored the benefits of leveraging still-image datasets for video analysis, or vice-versa, most of these attempts have been limited to pretraining a model on one type of visual modality and then adapting it via finetuning on the other modality. In contrast, in this paper we introduce a framework that enables joint training of a unified model on mixed collections of image and video examples spanning different tasks. The key ingredient in our architecture design is a new network block, which we name UniDual. It consists of a shared 2D spatial convolution followed by two parallel point-wise convolutional layers, one devoted to images and the other one used for videos. For video input, the point-wise filtering implements a temporal convolution. For image input, it performs a pixel-wise nonlinear transformation. Repeated stacking of such blocks gives rise to a network where images and videos undergo partially distinct execution pathways, unified by spatial convolutions (capturing commonalities in visual appearance) but separated by point-wise operations (modeling patterns specific to each modality). Extensive experiments on Kinetics and ImageNet demonstrate that our UniDual model jointly trained on these datasets yields substantial accuracy gains for both tasks, compared to 1) training separate models, 2) traditional multi-task learning and 3) the conventional framework of pretraining-followed-by-finetuning. On Kinetics, the UniDual architecture applied to a state-of-the-art video backbone model (R(2+1)D-152) yields an additional video@1 accuracy gain of 1.5%.

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