Achieving Cross Modal Generalization with Multimodal Unified Representation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yan Xia, Hai Huang, Jieming Zhu, Zhou Zhao


This paper introduces a novel task called Cross Modal Generalization (CMG), which addresses the challenge of learning a unified discrete representation from paired multimodal data during pre-training. Then in downstream tasks, the model can achieve zero-shot generalization ability in other modalities when only one modal is labeled. Existing approaches in multimodal representation learning focus more on coarse-grained alignment or rely on the assumption that information from different modalities is completely aligned, which is impractical in real-world scenarios. To overcome this limitation, we propose \textbf{Uni-Code}, which contains two key contributions: the Dual Cross-modal Information Disentangling (DCID) module and the Multi-Modal Exponential Moving Average (MM-EMA). These methods facilitate bidirectional supervision between modalities and align semantically equivalent information in a shared discrete latent space, enabling fine-grained unified representation of multimodal sequences. During pre-training, we investigate various modality combinations, including audio-visual, audio-text, and the tri-modal combination of audio-visual-text. Extensive experiments on various downstream tasks, i.e., cross-modal event classification, localization, cross-modal retrieval, query-based video segmentation, and cross-dataset event localization, demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed methods. The code is available at