Augment the pairs | Semantics-preserving image-caption pair augmentation for grounding-based vision and language models
Grounding-based vision and language models have been successfully applied to low-level vision tasks, aiming to precisely locate objects referred in captions. The effectiveness of grounding representation learning heavily relies on the scale of the training dataset. Despite being a useful data enrichment strategy, data augmentation has received minimal attention in existing vision and language tasks as augmentation for image-caption pairs is non-trivial. In this study, we propose a robust phrase grounding model trained with text-conditioned and text-unconditioned data augmentations. Specifically, we apply text-conditioned color jittering and horizontal flipping to ensure semantic consistency between images and captions. To guarantee image-caption correspondence in the training samples, we modify the captions according to predefined keywords when applying horizontal flipping. Additionally, inspired by recent masked signal reconstruction, we propose to use pixel-level masking as a novel form of data augmentation. While we demonstrate our data augmentation method with MDETR framework, the proposed approach is applicable to common grounding-based vision and language tasks with other frameworks. Finally, we show that image encoder pretrained on large-scale image and language datasets (such as CLIP) can further improve the results. Through extensive experiments on three commonly applied datasets: Flickr30k, referring expressions and GQA, our method demonstrates advanced performance over the state-of-the-arts with various metrics.