Sound Source Localization is All about Cross-Modal Alignment

2023 IEEE/CVF International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV)(2023)

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Humans can easily perceive the direction of sound sources in a visual scene, termed sound source localization. Recent studies on learning-based sound source localization have mainly explored the problem from a localization perspective. However, prior arts and existing benchmarks do not account for a more important aspect of the problem, cross-modal semantic understanding, which is essential for genuine sound source localization. Cross-modal semantic understanding is important in understanding semantically mismatched audio-visual events, e.g., silent objects, or off-screen sounds. To account for this, we propose a cross-modal alignment task as a joint task with sound source localization to better learn the interaction between audio and visual modalities. Thereby, we achieve high localization performance with strong cross-modal semantic understanding. Our method outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches in both sound source localization and cross-modal retrieval. Our work suggests that jointly tackling both tasks is necessary to conquer genuine sound source localization.
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