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CATER: A diagnostic dataset for Compositional Actions and TEmporal Reasoning - ShortScience.org
In Machine Learning, our models are lazy: they're only ever as good as the datasets we train them on. If a task doesn't require a given capability in order for a model to solve it, then the model won't gain that capability. This fact motivates a desire on the part of researchers to construct new datasets, to provide both a source of signal and a not-yet-met standard against which models can be measured. This paper focuses on the domain of reasoning about videos and the objects within them across frames. It observes that, on many tasks that ostensibly require a model to follow what's happening in a video, models that simply aggregate some set of features across frames can do as well as models that actually track and account for temporal evolution from one frame for another. They argue that this shows that, on these tasks, which often involve real-world scenes, the model can predict what's happening within a frame simply based on expectations of the world that can be gleaned from single frames - for example, if you see a swimming pool, you can guess that swimming is likely to take place there. As an example of the kind of task they'd like to get a model to solve, they showed a scene from the Godfather where a character leaves the room, puts a gun in his pocket, and returns to the room. Any human viewer could infer that the gun is in his pocket when it returns, but there doesn't exist any single individual frame that could give evidence of that, so it requires reasoning across frames. https://i.imgur.com/F2Ngsgw.png To get around this inherent layer of bias in real-world scenes, the authors decide to artificially construct their own dataset, where objects are moved, and some objects are moved to be contained and obscured within others, in an entirely neutral environment, where the model can't generally get useful information from single frames. This is done using the same animation environment as is used in CLEVR, which contains simple objects that have color, texture, and shape, and that can be moved around a scene. Within this environment, called CATER, the benchmark is made up of three tasks: - Simply predicting what action ("slide cone" or "pick up and place box") is happening in a given frame. For actions like sliding, where in a given frame a sliding cone is indistinguishable from a static one, this requires a model to actually track prior position in order to correctly predict an action taking place - Being able to correctly identify the order in which a given pair of actions occurs - Watching a single golden object that can be moved and contained within other objects (entertainingly enough, for Harry Potter fans, called the snitch), and guessing what frame it's in at the end of the scene. This is basically just the "put a ball in a cup and move it around" party trick, but as a learning task https://i.imgur.com/bBhPnFZ.png The authors do show that the "frame aggregation/pooling" methods that worked well on previous datasets don't work well on this dataset - which accords with both expectations and the authors goals. Obviously, it's still a fairly simplified environment, but they hope CATER can still be a useful shared benchmark for people working in the space to solve a task that is known to require more explicit spatiotemporal reasoning.