Im-Promptu: In-Context Composition from Image Prompts

Bhishma Dedhia · Michael Chang · Jake Snell · Tom Griffiths · Niraj Jha

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #544
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Tue 12 Dec 3:15 p.m. PST — 5:15 p.m. PST


Large language models are few-shot learners that can solve diverse tasks from a handful of demonstrations. This implicit understanding of tasks suggests that the attention mechanisms over word tokens may play a role in analogical reasoning. In this work, we investigate whether analogical reasoning can enable in-context composition over composable elements of visual stimuli. First, we introduce a suite of three benchmarks to test the generalization properties of a visual in-context learner. We formalize the notion of an analogy-based in-context learner and use it to design a meta-learning framework called Im-Promptu. Whereas the requisite token granularity for language is well established, the appropriate compositional granularity for enabling in-context generalization in visual stimuli is usually unspecified. To this end, we use Im-Promptu to train multiple agents with different levels of compositionality, including vector representations, patch representations, and object slots. Our experiments reveal tradeoffs between extrapolation abilities and the degree of compositionality, with non-compositional representations extending learned composition rules to unseen domains but performing poorly on combinatorial tasks. Patch-based representations require patches to contain entire objects for robust extrapolation. At the same time, object-centric tokenizers coupled with a cross-attention module generate consistent and high-fidelity solutions, with these inductive biases being particularly crucial for compositional generalization. Lastly, we demonstrate a use case of Im-Promptu as an intuitive programming interface for image generation.

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