Symbiotic Attention with Privileged Information for Egocentric Action Recognition

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Conference Proceeding
The Thirty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, AAAI, 2020
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Egocentric video recognition is a natural testbed for diverse interaction reasoning. Due to the large action vocabulary in egocentric video datasets, recent studies usually utilize a two-branch structure for action recognition, ie, one branch for verb classification and the other branch for noun classification. However, correlation studies between the verb and the noun branches have been largely ignored. Besides, the two branches fail to exploit local features due to the absence of a position-aware attention mechanism. In this paper, we propose a novel Symbiotic Attention framework leveraging Privileged information (SAP) for egocentric video recognition. Finer position-aware object detection features can facilitate the understanding of actor's interaction with the object. We introduce these features in action recognition and regard them as privileged information. Our framework enables mutual communication among the verb branch, the noun branch, and the privileged information. This communication process not only injects local details into global features but also exploits implicit guidance about the spatio-temporal position of an on-going action. We introduce novel symbiotic attention (SA) to enable effective communication. It first normalizes the detection guided features on one branch to underline the action-relevant information from the other branch. SA adaptively enhances the interactions among the three sources. To further catalyze this communication, spatial relations are uncovered for the selection of most action-relevant information. It identifies the most valuable and discriminative feature for classification. We validate the effectiveness of our SAP quantitatively and qualitatively. Notably, it achieves the state-of-the-art on two large-scale egocentric video datasets.
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