Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)
Arsha Nagrani, Shan Yang, Anurag Arnab, Aren Jansen, Cordelia Schmid, Chen Sun
Humans perceive the world by concurrently processing and fusing high-dimensional inputs from multiple modalities such as vision and audio. Machine perception models, in stark contrast, are typically modality-specific and optimised for unimodal benchmarks.A common approach for building multimodal models is to simply combine multiple of these modality-specific architectures using late-stage fusion of final representations or predictions ('late-fusion').Instead, we introduce a novel transformer based architecture that uses 'attention bottlenecks' for modality fusion at multiple layers. Compared to traditional pairwise self-attention, these bottlenecks force information between different modalities to pass through a small number of '`bottleneck' latent units, requiring the model to collate and condense the most relevant information in each modality and only share what is necessary. We find that such a strategy improves fusion performance, at the same time reducing computational cost. We conduct thorough ablation studies, and achieve state-of-the-art results on multiple audio-visual classification benchmarks including Audioset, Epic-Kitchens and VGGSound. All code and models will be released.