Self-Supervised VQA: Answering Visual Questions using Images and Captions

Pratyay Banerjee, Tejas Gokhale, Yezhou Yang, Chitta Baral

Methodologies for training VQA models assume the availability of datasets with human-annotated Image-Question-Answer(I-Q-A) triplets for training. This has led to a heavy reliance and overfitting on datasets and a lack of generalization to new types of questions and scenes. Moreover, these datasets exhibit annotator subjectivity, biases, and errors, along with linguistic priors, which percolate into VQA models trained on such samples. We study whether models can be trained without any human-annotated Q-A pairs, but only with images and associated text captions which are descriptive and less subjective. We present a method to train models with procedurally generated Q-A pairs from captions using techniques, such as templates and annotation frameworks like QASRL. As most VQA models rely on dense and costly object annotations extracted from object detectors, we propose spatial-pyramid image patches as a simple but effective alternative to object bounding boxes, and demonstrate that our method uses fewer human annotations. We benchmark on VQA-v2, GQA, and on VQA-CP which contains a softer version of label shift. Our methods surpass prior supervised methods on VQA-CP and are competitive with methods without object features in fully supervised setting.

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