Symbol Grounding Association in Multimodal Sequences with Missing Elements

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Federico Raue
Andreas Dengel
Thomas M. Breuel
Marcus Liwicki


In this paper, we extend a symbolic association framework for being able to handle missing elements in multimodal sequences. The general scope of the work is the symbolic associations of object-word mappings as it happens in language development in infants. In other words, two different representations of the same abstract concepts can associate in both directions. This scenario has been long interested in Artificial Intelligence, Psychology, and Neuroscience. In this work, we extend a recent approach for multimodal sequences (visual and audio) to also cope with missing elements in one or both modalities. Our method uses two parallel Long Short-Term Memories (LSTMs) with a learning rule based on EM-algorithm. It aligns both LSTM outputs via Dynamic Time Warping (DTW). We propose to include an extra step for the combination with the max operation for exploiting the common elements between both sequences. The motivation behind is that the combination acts as a condition selector for choosing the best representation from both LSTMs. We evaluated the proposed extension in the following scenarios: missing elements in one modality (visual or audio) and missing elements in both modalities (visual and sound). The performance of our extension reaches better results than the original model and similar results to individual LSTM trained in each modality.

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