Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


Learning Action Changes by Measuring Verb-Adverb Textual Relationships

Davide Moltisanti · Frank Keller · Hakan Bilen · Laura Sevilla-Lara

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 239


The goal of this work is to understand the way actions are performed in videos. That is, given a video, we aim to predict an adverb indicating a modification applied to the action (e.g. cut “finely”). We cast this problem as a regression task. We measure textual relationships between verbs and adverbs to generate a regression target representing the action change we aim to learn. We test our approach on a range of datasets and achieve state-of-the-art results on both adverb prediction and antonym classification. Furthermore, we outperform previous work when we lift two commonly assumed conditions: the availability of action labels during testing and the pairing of adverbs as antonyms. Existing datasets for adverb recognition are either noisy, which makes learning difficult, or contain actions whose appearance is not influenced by adverbs, which makes evaluation less reliable. To address this, we collect a new high quality dataset: Adverbs in Recipes (AIR). We focus on instructional recipes videos, curating a set of actions that exhibit meaningful visual changes when performed differently. Videos in AIR are more tightly trimmed and were manually reviewed by multiple annotators to ensure high labelling quality. Results show that models learn better from AIR given its cleaner videos. At the same time, adverb prediction on AIR is challenging, demonstrating that there is considerable room for improvement.

Chat is not available.