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AVIS: Autonomous Visual Information Seeking with Large Language Models

Ziniu Hu, Ahmet Iscen, Chen Sun, Kai-Wei Chang, Yizhou Sun, Cordelia Schmid, David A. Ross, and Alireza Fathi, in NeurIPS, 2023.

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In this paper, we propose an autonomous information seeking visual question answering framework, AVIS. Our method leverages a Large Language Model (LLM) to dynamically strategize the utilization of external tools and to investigate their outputs, thereby acquiring the indispensable knowledge needed to provide answers to the posed questions. Responding to visual questions that necessitate external knowledge, such as "What event is commemorated by the building depicted in this image?", is a complex task. This task presents a combinatorial search space that demands a sequence of actions, including invoking APIs, analyzing their responses, and making informed decisions. We conduct a user study to collect a variety of instances of human decision-making when faced with this task. This data is then used to design a system comprised of three components: an LLM-powered planner that dynamically determines which tool to use next, an LLM-powered reasoner that analyzes and extracts key information from the tool outputs, and a working memory component that retains the acquired information throughout the process. The collected user behavior serves as a guide for our system in two key ways. First, we create a transition graph by analyzing the sequence of decisions made by users. This graph delineates distinct states and confines the set of actions available at each state. Second, we use examples of user decision-making to provide our LLM-powered planner and reasoner with relevant contextual instances, enhancing their capacity to make informed decisions. We show that AVIS achieves state-of-the-art results on knowledge-intensive visual question answering benchmarks such as Infoseek and OK-VQA.

Bib Entry

  author = {Hu, Ziniu and Iscen, Ahmet and Sun, Chen and Chang, Kai-Wei and Sun, Yizhou and Schmid, Cordelia and Ross, David A and Fathi, Alireza},
  booktitle = {NeurIPS},
  title = {AVIS: Autonomous Visual Information Seeking with Large Language Models},
  year = {2023}

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