• Qian Wang

Student thesis: Phd


Traditional supervised visual recognition methods require a great number of annotated examples for each concerned class. The collection and annotation of visual data (e.g., images and videos) could be laborious, tedious and time-consuming when the number of classes involved is very large. In addition, there are such situations where the test instances are from novel classes for which training examples are unavailable in the training stage. These issues can be addressed by zero-shot learning (ZSL), an emerging machine learning technique enabling the recognition of novel classes. The key issue in zero-shot visual recognition is the semantic gap between visual and semantic representations. We address this issue in this thesis from three different perspectives: visual representations, semantic representations and the learning models. We first propose a novel bidirectional latent embedding framework for zero-shot visual recognition. By learning a latent space from visual representations and labelling information of the training examples, instances of different classes can be mapped into the latent space with the preserving of both visual and semantic relatedness, hence the semantic gap can be bridged. We conduct experiments on both object and human action recognition benchmarks to validate the effectiveness of the proposed ZSL framework. Then we extend the ZSL to the multi-label scenarios for multi-label zero-shot human action recognition based on weakly annotated video data. We employ a long short term memory (LSTM) neural network to explore the multiple actions underlying the video data. A joint latent space is learned by two component models (i.e. the visual model and the semantic model) to bridge the semantic gap. The two component embedding models are trained alternately to optimize the ranking based objectives. Extensive experiments are carried out on two multi-label human action datasets to evaluate the proposed framework. Finally, we propose alternative semantic representations for human actions towards narrowing the semantic gap from the perspective of semantic representation. A simple yet effective solution based on the exploration of web data has been investigated to enhance the semantic representations for human actions. The novel semantic representations are proved to benefit the zero-shot human action recognition significantly compared to the traditional attributes and word vectors. In summary, we propose novel frameworks for zero-shot visual recognition towards narrowing and bridging the semantic gap, and achieve state-of-the-art performance in different settings on multiple benchmarks.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKe Chen (Supervisor) & Xiaojun Zeng (Supervisor)


  • Multi-label learning
  • Semantic representation
  • Zero-shot learning
  • Human action recognition
  • Object recognition

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