Cognitive Visual-Language Mapper: Advancing Multimodal Comprehension with Enhanced Visual Knowledge Alignment

Yunxin Li, Xinyu Chen,Baotian Hu, Haoyuan Shi,Min Zhang


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Evaluating and Rethinking the current landscape of Large Multimodal Models (LMMs), we observe that widely-used visual-language projection approaches (e.g., Q-former or MLP) focus on the alignment of image-text descriptions yet ignore the visual knowledge-dimension alignment, i.e., connecting visuals to their relevant knowledge. Visual knowledge plays a significant role in analyzing, inferring, and interpreting information from visuals, helping improve the accuracy of answers to knowledge-based visual questions. In this paper, we mainly explore improving LMMs with visual-language knowledge alignment, especially aimed at challenging knowledge-based visual question answering (VQA). To this end, we present a Cognitive Visual-Language Mapper (CVLM), which contains a pretrained Visual Knowledge Aligner (VKA) and a Fine-grained Knowledge Adapter (FKA) used in the multimodal instruction tuning stage. Specifically, we design the VKA based on the interaction between a small language model and a visual encoder, training it on collected image-knowledge pairs to achieve visual knowledge acquisition and projection. FKA is employed to distill the fine-grained visual knowledge of an image and inject it into Large Language Models (LLMs). We conduct extensive experiments on knowledge-based VQA benchmarks and experimental results show that CVLM significantly improves the performance of LMMs on knowledge-based VQA (average gain by 5.0 respectively.
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