Jia Deng


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LifeQA: A Real-life Dataset for Video Question Answering
Santiago Castro | Mahmoud Azab | Jonathan Stroud | Cristina Noujaim | Ruoyao Wang | Jia Deng | Rada Mihalcea
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We introduce LifeQA, a benchmark dataset for video question answering that focuses on day-to-day real-life situations. Current video question answering datasets consist of movies and TV shows. However, it is well-known that these visual domains are not representative of our day-to-day lives. Movies and TV shows, for example, benefit from professional camera movements, clean editing, crisp audio recordings, and scripted dialog between professional actors. While these domains provide a large amount of data for training models, their properties make them unsuitable for testing real-life question answering systems. Our dataset, by contrast, consists of video clips that represent only real-life scenarios. We collect 275 such video clips and over 2.3k multiple-choice questions. In this paper, we analyze the challenging but realistic aspects of LifeQA, and we apply several state-of-the-art video question answering models to provide benchmarks for future research. The full dataset is publicly available at https://lit.eecs.umich.edu/lifeqa/.


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Representing Movie Characters in Dialogues
Mahmoud Azab | Noriyuki Kojima | Jia Deng | Rada Mihalcea
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

We introduce a new embedding model to represent movie characters and their interactions in a dialogue by encoding in the same representation the language used by these characters as well as information about the other participants in the dialogue. We evaluate the performance of these new character embeddings on two tasks: (1) character relatedness, using a dataset we introduce consisting of a dense character interaction matrix for 4,378 unique character pairs over 22 hours of dialogue from eighteen movies; and (2) character relation classification, for fine- and coarse-grained relations, as well as sentiment relations. Our experiments show that our model significantly outperforms the traditional Word2Vec continuous bag-of-words and skip-gram models, demonstrating the effectiveness of the character embeddings we introduce. We further show how these embeddings can be used in conjunction with a visual question answering system to improve over previous results.

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Identifying Visible Actions in Lifestyle Vlogs
Oana Ignat | Laura Burdick | Jia Deng | Rada Mihalcea
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We consider the task of identifying human actions visible in online videos. We focus on the widely spread genre of lifestyle vlogs, which consist of videos of people performing actions while verbally describing them. Our goal is to identify if actions mentioned in the speech description of a video are visually present. We construct a dataset with crowdsourced manual annotations of visible actions, and introduce a multimodal algorithm that leverages information derived from visual and linguistic clues to automatically infer which actions are visible in a video.


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Speaker Naming in Movies
Mahmoud Azab | Mingzhe Wang | Max Smith | Noriyuki Kojima | Jia Deng | Rada Mihalcea
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

We propose a new model for speaker naming in movies that leverages visual, textual, and acoustic modalities in an unified optimization framework. To evaluate the performance of our model, we introduce a new dataset consisting of six episodes of the Big Bang Theory TV show and eighteen full movies covering different genres. Our experiments show that our multimodal model significantly outperforms several competitive baselines on the average weighted F-score metric. To demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework, we design an end-to-end memory network model that leverages our speaker naming model and achieves state-of-the-art results on the subtitles task of the MovieQA 2017 Challenge.

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Think Visually: Question Answering through Virtual Imagery
Ankit Goyal | Jian Wang | Jia Deng
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this paper, we study the problem of geometric reasoning (a form of visual reasoning) in the context of question-answering. We introduce Dynamic Spatial Memory Network (DSMN), a new deep network architecture that specializes in answering questions that admit latent visual representations, and learns to generate and reason over such representations. Further, we propose two synthetic benchmarks, FloorPlanQA and ShapeIntersection, to evaluate the geometric reasoning capability of QA systems. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of our proposed DSMN for visual thinking tasks.