Cross-modal Search for Fashion Attributes

In this paper we develop a neural network which learns inter- modal representations for fashion attributes to be utilized in a cross-modal search tool. Our neural network learns from organic e-commerce data, which is characterized by clean image material, but noisy and incomplete product descrip- tions. First, we experiment with techniques to segment e- commerce images and their product descriptions into respec- tively image and text fragments denoting fashion attributes. Here, we propose a rule-based image segmentation approach which exploits the cleanness of e-commerce images. Next, we design an objective function which encourages our model to induce a common embedding space where a semantically related image fragment and text fragment have a high in- ner product. This objective function incorporates similarity information of image fragments to obtain better intermodal representations.

A key insight is that similar looking image fragments should be described with the same text fragments. We explicitly require this in our objective function, and as such recover information which was lost due to noise and in- completeness in the product descriptions. We evaluate the inferred intermodal representations in cross-modal search. We demonstrate that the neural network model trained with our objective function on image fragments acquired with our rule-based segmentation approach improves the results of image search with textual queries by 198% for recall@1 and by 181% for recall@5 compared to results obtained by a state-of-the-art image search system on the same benchmark dataset.

Katrien Laenen, Susana Zoghbi, Sien Moens

KDD Machine Learning Meets Fashion Worshop, 2017

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