Learning Convolutional Text Representations for Visual Question Answering Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2018 by SIAM. Visual question answering (VQA) is a recently proposed artificial intelligence task that requires a deep understanding of both images and texts. In deep learning, images are typically modeled through convolutional neural networks (CNNs) while texts are typically modeled through recurrent neural networks (RNNs). In this work, we perform a detailed analysis on the natural language questions in VQA, which raises a different need for text representations as compared to other natural language processing tasks. Based on the analysis, we propose to rely on CNNs for learning text representations. By exploring various properties of CNNs specialized for text data, we present our "CNN Inception + Gate" model for text feature extraction in VQA. The experimental results show that simply replacing RNNs with our CNN-based model improves question representations and thus the overall accuracy of VQA models. In addition, our model has much fewer parameters and the computation is much faster. We also prove that the text representation requirement in VQA is more complicated and comprehensive than that in conventional natural language processing tasks. Shallow models like the fastText model, which can obtain comparable results with deep learning models in simple tasks like text classification, have poor performances in VQA.

published proceedings

  • SIAM International Conference on Data Mining, SDM 2018

altmetric score

  • 16.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Z., & Ji, S.

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Zhengyang||Ji, Shuiwang

publication date

  • May 2018