Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


CoVLM: Composing Visual Entities and Relationships in Large Language Models Via Communicative Decoding

Junyan Li · Delin Chen · Yining Hong · Zhenfang Chen · Peihao Chen · Yikang Shen · Chuang Gan

Halle B #94
[ ] [ Project Page ]
Wed 8 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT


A remarkable ability of human beings resides in compositional reasoning, i.e., the capacity to make "infinite use of finite means". However, current large vision-language foundation models (VLMs) fall short of such compositional abilities due to their ``bag-of-words" behaviors and inability to construct words that correctly represent visual entities and the relations among the entities. To this end, we propose CoVLM, which can guide the LLM to explicitly compose visual entities and relationships among the text and dynamically communicate with the vision encoder and detection network to achieve vision-language communicative decoding. Specifically, we first devise a set of novel communication tokens for the LLM, for dynamic communication between the visual detection system and the language system. A communication token is generated by the LLM following a visual entity or a relation, to inform the detection network to propose regions that are relevant to the sentence generated so far. The proposed regions-of-interests (ROIs) are then fed back into the LLM for better language generation contingent on the relevant regions. The LLM is thus able to compose the visual entities and relationships through the communication tokens. The vision-to-language and language-to-vision communication are iteratively performed until the entire sentence is generated. Our framework seamlessly bridges the gap between visual perception and LLMs and outperforms previous VLMs by a large margin on compositional reasoning benchmarks (e.g., ~20% in HICO-DET mAP, ~14% in Cola top-1 accuracy, and ~3% on ARO top-1 accuracy). We also achieve state-of-the-art performances on traditional vision-language tasks such as referring expression comprehension and visual question answering.

Chat is not available.