Rewrite Caption Semantics: Bridging Semantic Gaps for Language-Supervised Semantic Segmentation

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Yun Xing, Jian Kang, Aoran Xiao, Jiahao Nie, Ling Shao, Shijian Lu


Vision-Language Pre-training has demonstrated its remarkable zero-shot recognition ability and potential to learn generalizable visual representations from languagesupervision. Taking a step ahead, language-supervised semantic segmentation enables spatial localization of textual inputs by learning pixel grouping solely from image-text pairs. Nevertheless, the state-of-the-art suffers from a clear semantic gap between visual and textual modalities: plenty of visual concepts appeared in images are missing in their paired captions. Such semantic misalignment circulates in pre-training, leading to inferior zero-shot performance in dense predictions due to insufficient visual concepts captured in textual representations. To close such semantic gap, we propose Concept Curation (CoCu), a pipeline that leverages CLIP to compensate for the missing semantics. For each image-text pair, we establish a concept archive that maintains potential visually-matched concepts with our proposed vision-driven expansion and text-to-vision-guided ranking. Relevant concepts can thus be identified via cluster-guided sampling and fed into pre-training, thereby bridging the gap between visual and textual semantics. Extensive experiments over a broad suite of 8 segmentation benchmarks show that CoCu achieves superb zero-shot transfer performance and greatly boosts language-supervised segmentation baseline by a large margin, suggesting the value of closing semantic gap in pre-training data.