Injecting Semantic Concepts into End-to-End Image Captioning

Zhiyuan Fang, Jianfeng Wang, Xiaowei Hu, Lin Liang, Zhe Gan, Lijuan Wang, Yezhou Yang, Zicheng Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

35 Scopus citations


Tremendous progresses have been made in recent years in developing better image captioning models, yet most of them rely on a separate object detector to extract regional features. Recent vision-language studies are shifting towards the detector-free trend by leveraging grid representations for more flexible model training and faster inference speed. However, such development is primarily focused on image understanding tasks, and remains less investigated for the caption generation task. In this paper, we are concerned with a better-performing detector-free image captioning model, and propose a pure vision transformer-based image captioning model, dubbed as ViTCAP, in which grid representations are used without extracting the regional features. For improved performance, we introduce a novel Concept Token Network (CTN) to predict the semantic concepts and then incorporate them into the end-to-end captioning. In particular, the CTN is built on the basis of a vision transformer, and is designed to predict the concept tokens through a classification task, from which the rich semantic information contained greatly benefits the captioning task. Compared with the previous detector-based models, ViTCAP drastically simplifies the architectures and at the same time achieves competitive performance on various challenging image captioning datasets. In particular, ViTCAP reaches 138.1 CIDEr scores on COCO-caption Karpathy-split, 93.8 and 108.6 CIDEr scores on nocaps and Google-CC captioning datasets, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2022 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2022
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781665469463
StatePublished - 2022
Event2022 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2022 - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 19 2022Jun 24 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of the IEEE Computer Society Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
ISSN (Print)1063-6919


Conference2022 IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, CVPR 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


  • Vision + language
  • Vision applications and systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


Dive into the research topics of 'Injecting Semantic Concepts into End-to-End Image Captioning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this