Approaches to Grounded Language Learning are commonly focused on a single task-based final performance measure which may not depend on desirable properties of the learned hidden representations, such as their ability to predict object attributes or generalize to unseen situations. To remedy this, we present GroLLA, an evaluation framework for Grounded Language Learning with Attributes based on three sub-tasks: 1) Goal-oriented evaluation; 2) Object attribute prediction evaluation; and 3) Zero-shot evaluation. We also propose a new dataset CompGuessWhat?! as an instance of this framework for evaluating the quality of learned neural representations, in particular with respect to attribute grounding. To this end, we extend the original GuessWhat?! dataset by including a semantic layer on top of the perceptual one. Specifically, we enrich the VisualGenome scene graphs associated with the GuessWhat?! images with several attributes from resources such as VISA and ImSitu. We then compare several hidden state representations from current state-of-the-art approaches to Grounded Language Learning. By using diagnostic classifiers, we show that current models’ learned representations are not expressive enough to encode object attributes (average F1 of 44.27). In addition, they do not learn strategies nor representations that are robust enough to perform well when novel scenes or objects are involved in gameplay (zero-shot best accuracy 50.06%).
In visual guessing games, a Guesser has to identify a target object in a scene by asking questions to an Oracle. An effective strategy for the players is to learn conceptual representations of objects that are both discriminative and expressive enough to ask questions and guess correctly. However, as shown by Suglia et al. (2020), existing models fail to learn truly multi-modal representations, relying instead on gold category labels for objects in the scene both at training and inference time. This provides an unnatural performance advantage when categories at inference time match those at training time, and it causes models to fail in more realistic “zero-shot” scenarios where out-of-domain object categories are involved. To overcome this issue, we introduce a novel “imagination” module based on Regularized Auto-Encoders, that learns context-aware and category-aware latent embeddings without relying on category labels at inference time. Our imagination module outperforms state-of-the-art competitors by 8.26% gameplay accuracy in the CompGuessWhat?! zero-shot scenario (Suglia et al., 2020), and it improves the Oracle and Guesser accuracy by 2.08% and 12.86% in the GuessWhat?! benchmark, when no gold categories are available at inference time. The imagination module also boosts reasoning about object properties and attributes.