Removing bias in multi-modal classifiers: Regularization by maximizing functional entropies

Itai Gat, Idan Schwartz, Alexander Schwing, Tamir Hazan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Many recent datasets contain a variety of different data modalities, for instance, image, question, and answer data in visual question answering (VQA). When training deep net classifiers on those multi-modal datasets, the modalities get exploited at different scales, i.e., some modalities can more easily contribute to the classification results than others. This is suboptimal because the classifier is inherently biased towards a subset of the modalities. To alleviate this shortcoming, we propose a novel regularization term based on the functional entropy. Intuitively, this term encourages to balance the contribution of each modality to the classification result. However, regularization with the functional entropy is challenging. To address this, we develop a method based on the log-Sobolev inequality, which bounds the functional entropy with the functional-Fisher-information. Intuitively, this maximizes the amount of information that the modalities contribute. On the two challenging multi-modal datasets VQA-CPv2 and SocialIQ, we obtain state-of-the-art results while more uniformly exploiting the modalities. In addition, we demonstrate the efficacy of our method on Colored MNIST.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
StatePublished - 2020
Event34th Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NeurIPS 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Dec 6 2020Dec 12 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing


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