Computer Vision (CV) is a scientific field that researches software systems trained to extract information from visual data, analyze it, and draw conclusions based on the analysis. The area consists of so-called CV or vision AI tasks. Each task is unique and incorporates techniques and heuristics for acquiring, processing, analyzing, understanding the data, and extracting various details from it. On this page, we will:

  • Cover in-depth the Attribute Prediction vision AI task;
  • Understand the difference between Attribute Prediction and Multi-Class Classification;
  • Research the real-life applications of Attribute Prediction;
  • See features that CloudFactory offers for streamlining an Attribute Prediction task.

Let’s jump in.

As the name suggests, the Attribute Prediction task is concerned with detecting the attributes of the objects in the image.

Visual attributes contain essential information about the objects and the scene overall. One object may possess several attributes, for example, color, material, geometric properties (size, shape), position in space, state (jumping, moving, laying), and many more.

Attribute Prediction can also be referred to as a Multi-Label Classification problem as it also focuses on predicting all the relevant attributes of a given object.

Since Attribute Prediction is a subset of the traditional Image Classification task, please look at our essential guide on the Classification field to better understand the background behind the task.

Attribute Prediction (AP) is a Classification task that allows you to predict one or more labels related to the object. This means you can assign multiple attributes to the same object in the training data. The image below shows how an example of input and output can look for the AP task.

Attribute Prediction examples visualization
GT stands for the Ground Truth.

The general Attribute Prediction algorithm in ML is as follows:

  1. You feed the model some prelabeled data as input;
  2. The model returns the probability vector as an output (for example, [0.1, 0.35, 0.7] representing the probabilities of attributes 1, 2, and 3);
  3. You analyze the obtained vector based on standard heuristics or your own logic and formulate the final prediction.
For example, you can set a certain threshold which you can use to decide whether to assign some attribute to an object or not based on the predicted probability. Let’s say that, in our case, the threshold is 0.3. As you can see, two values are above the threshold, so you can assign attributes 2 and 3 to an image.

In general, Attribute Prediction can be applied in the following cases:

  • Whenever you want to assign an object to many classes simultaneously;
  • Whenever you want to have a more complex taxonomy, for example, a second-degree one.
Second-degree taxonomy for an Attribute Prediction task
Another application of Attribute Prediction is to detect several objects in an image at once.
The example below shows a model trained to detect several not mutually exclusive objects - a dog and a plant.
Binary Classification Vs. Multi-class Classification Vs. Multi-label Classification

As we have established earlier, the Attribute Prediction task may interchangeably be called the Multi-Label Classification task. Such a name is frequently used by researchers in academic papers and often confuses those unfamiliar with the topic.

Another common CV technique is Multi-Class Classification. Even though these two sound similar, they refer to different tasks.

  • In Multi-class Classification, each input can have only one label as an output. For example, according to this task, a dress can be only black & blue or white & gold, and not both simultaneously.
Multi-class Classification Vs. Attribute Prediction on the meme dress
  • On the other hand, in Attribute Prediction (or in Multi-Label Classification), you can assign more than one label to the same object simultaneously. For example, a movie can be classified as horror, thriller, and detective at the same time, and these labels are not mutually exclusive.
  • Image Captioning - describing the content of an image with words in a natural (human) language. Detecting and describing different objects, states, and actions in the image requires a fine-tuned Attribute Prediction;
Attribute Prediction in Image Captioning
  • Visual Question Answering (VQA) - in this CV task, we give a text-based question about the image as an input, and the system should provide an answer as an output;
Attribute Prediction in Visual Question Answering
  • Genre classification - for example, in movies, songs, literary works, and many other domains, an input can be assigned more than one genre at a time;
Attribute Prediction in Genre Classification
  • Image Retrieval - finding images similar to a query image;
Attribute Prediction in Content-based Image Retrieval
  • Image Search - finding images in the database containing the specified attributes (for example, color, material, or shape).
Attribute Prediction in Image Search
In vision AI, Attribute Prediction is often a part of more complex tasks such as Object Detection, Semantic Segmentation, or Instance Segmentation. So, for example, in manufacturing, you might first solve an Instance Segmentation task to find a specific defect and then use Attribute Prediction to assess the issue's severity.

We must mention that only a few datasets are devoted to Attribute Prediction exclusively. This might be partially explained by the fact that objects in the image can be described in various ways. The names and the choices of the attributes might depend on the annotator’s perspective or linguistic preference (for example, one annotator could describe someone’s eye color as blue and another - as light grey). Thus, providing exhaustive and uniform annotations to each object is a large-scale task.

Nevertheless, some datasets explore the object attributes in depth. They include:

You can also check out the Multi-Label CLassification benchmarks of other datasets. We will provide some examples of the datasets and SOTA (state-of-the-art models benchmarked against these datasets) below.

Attribute Prediction benchmark on MS-COCO
Attribute Prediction benchmark on PASCAL VOC 2007
Attribute Prediction benchmark on CheXpert
Attribute Prediction benchmark on NUS-WIDE
Attribute Prediction benchmark on OpenImages-v6

To streamline the Attribute Prediction annotation experience, CloudFactory's internal data labeling tool supports an AI-powered Label Attribute assistant that predicts the image attributes automatically.

Regarding model development, CloudFactory's internal model-building tool supports many modern neural network architectures. For Attribute Prediction, these include:

As for the Machine Learning metrics for the Attribute Prediction case, CloudFactory implements:

As of today, these are the key technical options CloudFactory has for Attribute Prediction cases. If you want a more detailed overview, please check out the further resources or book some time with us to get deeper into CloudFactory with our help.

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