A Unified Framework for Multilingual and Code-Mixed Visual Question Answering

Deepak Gupta1, Pabitra Lenka2, Asif Ekbal1, Pushpak Bhattacharyya3
1IIT Patna, 2International Institute of Information Technology, Bhubaneswar, 3Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and Patna


In this paper, we propose an effective deep learning framework for multilingual and code- mixed visual question answering. The pro- posed model is capable of predicting answers from the questions in Hindi, English or Code- mixed (Hinglish: Hindi-English) languages. The majority of the existing techniques on Vi- sual Question Answering (VQA) focus on En- glish questions only. However, many applica- tions such as medical imaging, tourism, visual assistants require a multilinguality-enabled module for their widespread usages. As there is no available dataset in English-Hindi VQA, we firstly create Hindi and Code-mixed VQA datasets by exploiting the linguistic properties of these languages. We propose a robust tech- nique capable of handling the multilingual and code-mixed question to provide the answer against the visual information (image). To better encode the multilingual and code-mixed questions, we introduce a hierarchy of shared layers. We control the behaviour of these shared layers by an attention-based soft layer sharing mechanism, which learns how shared layers are applied in different ways for the dif- ferent languages of the question. Further, our model uses bi-linear attention with a residual connection to fuse the language and image fea- tures. We perform extensive evaluation and ablation studies for English, Hindi and Code- mixed VQA. The evaluation shows that the proposed multilingual model achieves state-of- the-art performance in all these settings.