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Fine-tuning Multimodal LLMs to Follow Zero-shot Demonstrative Instructions

Juncheng Li · Kaihang Pan · Zhiqi Ge · Minghe Gao · Wei Ji · Wenqiao Zhang · Tat-Seng Chua · Siliang Tang · Hanwang Zhang · Yueting Zhuang

Halle B #339
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Wed 8 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Recent advancements in Multimodal Large Language Models (MLLMs) have been utilizing Visual Prompt Generators (VPGs) to convert visual features into tokens that LLMs can recognize. This is achieved by training the VPGs on millions of image-caption pairs, where the VPG-generated tokens of images are fed into a frozen LLM to generate the corresponding captions. However, this image-captioning based training objective inherently biases the VPG to concentrate solely on the primary visual contents sufficient for caption generation, often neglecting other visual details. This shortcoming results in MLLMs’ underperformance in comprehending demonstrative instructions consisting of multiple, interleaved, and multimodal instructions that demonstrate the required context to complete a task. To address this issue, we introduce a generic and lightweight Visual Prompt Generator Complete module (VPG-C), which can infer and complete the missing details essential for comprehending demonstrative instructions. Further, we propose a synthetic discriminative training strategy to fine-tune VPG-C, eliminating the need for supervised demonstrative instructions. As for evaluation, we build DEMON, a comprehensive benchmark for demonstrative instruction understanding. Synthetically trained with the proposed strategy, VPG-C achieves significantly stronger zero-shot performance across all tasks of DEMON. Further evaluation on the MME and OwlEval benchmarks also demonstrate the superiority of VPG-C. The code and models are available at

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