Graph Optimal Transport for Cross-Domain Alignment

Jul 12, 2020



Cross-domain alignment between two sets of entities (e.g., objects in an image, words in a sentence) is fundamental to both computer vision and natural language processing. Existing methods mainly focus on designing advanced attention mechanisms to simulate soft alignment, where no training signals are provided to explicitly encourage alignment. Plus, the learned attention matrices are often dense and difficult to interpret. We propose Graph Optimal Transport (GOT), a principled framework that builds upon recent advances in Optimal Transport (OT). In GOT, cross-domain alignment is formulated as a graph matching problem, by representing entities as a dynamically-constructed graph. Two types of OT distances are considered: (i) Wasserstein distance (WD) for node (entity) matching; and (ii) Gromov-Wasserstein distance (GWD) for edge (structure) matching. Both WD and GWD can be incorporated into existing neural network models, effectively acting as a drop-in regularizer. The inferred transport plan also yields sparse and self-normalized alignment, enhancing the interpretability of the learned model. Experiments show consistent outperformance of GOT over baselines across a wide range of tasks, including image-text retrieval, visual question answering, image captioning, machine translation, and text summarization.



About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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