Connecting Multi-modal Contrastive Representations

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Zehan Wang, Yang Zhao, Xize 成, Haifeng Huang, Jiageng Liu, Aoxiong Yin, Li Tang, Linjun Li, Yongqi Wang, Ziang Zhang, Zhou Zhao


Multi-modal Contrastive Representation (MCR) learning aims to encode different modalities into a semantically aligned shared space. This paradigm shows remarkable generalization ability on numerous downstream tasks across various modalities. However, the reliance on massive high-quality data pairs limits its further development on more modalities. This paper proposes a novel training-efficient method for learning MCR without paired data called Connecting Multi-modal Contrastive Representations (C-MCR). Specifically, given two existing MCRs pre-trained on $(\mathcal{A}$, $\mathcal{B})$ and $(\mathcal{B}$, $\mathcal{C})$ modality pairs, we project them to a new space and use the data from the overlapping modality $\mathcal{B}$ to aligning the two MCRs in the new space. Meanwhile, since the modality pairs $(\mathcal{A}$, $\mathcal{B})$ and $(\mathcal{B}$, $\mathcal{C})$ are already aligned within each MCR, the connection learned by overlapping modality can also be transferred to non-overlapping modality pair $(\mathcal{A}$, $\mathcal{C})$. To unleash the potential of C-MCR, we further introduce a semantic-enhanced inter- and intra-MCR connection method. We first enhance the semantic consistency and completion of embeddings across different modalities for more robust alignment. Then we utilize the inter-MCR alignment to establish the connection, and employ the intra-MCR alignment to better maintain the connection for inputs from non-overlapping modalities. To demonstrate the effectiveness of C-MCR, we take the field of audio-visual and 3D-language learning as examples. Specifically, we connect CLIP and CLAP via texts to derive audio-visual representations, and integrate CLIP and ULIP via images for 3D-language representations. Remarkably, without using any paired data, C-MCR for audio-visual achieves state-of-the-art performance on audio-image retrieval, audio-visual source localization, and counterfactual audio-image recognition tasks. Furthermore, C-MCR for 3D-language also attains advanced zero-shot 3D point cloud classification accuracy on ModelNet40. Our project page is available at \url{}