Neural attention for image captioning: review of outstanding methods

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Image captioning is the task of automatically generating sentences that describe an input image in the best way possible. The most successful techniques for automatically generating image captions have recently used attentive deep learning models. There are variations in the way deep learning models with attention are designed. In this survey, we provide a review of literature related to attentive deep learning models for image captioning. Instead of offering a comprehensive review of all prior work on deep image captioning models, we explain various types of attention mechanisms used for the task of image captioning in deep learning models. The most successful deep learning models used for image captioning follow the encoder-decoder architecture, although there are differences in the way these models employ attention mechanisms. Via analysis on performance results from different attentive deep models for image captioning, we aim at finding the most successful types of attention mechanisms in deep models for image captioning. Soft attention, bottom-up attention, and multi-head attention are the types of attention mechanism widely used in state-of-the-art attentive deep learning models for image captioning. At the current time, the best results are achieved from variants of multi-head attention with bottom-up attention.


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