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Decoupled Multimodal Distilling for Emotion Recognition

Yong Li · Yuanzhi Wang · Zhen Cui

West Building Exhibit Halls ABC 239
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Human multimodal emotion recognition (MER) aims to perceive human emotions via language, visual and acoustic modalities. Despite the impressive performance of previous MER approaches, the inherent multimodal heterogeneities still haunt and the contribution of different modalities varies significantly. In this work, we mitigate this issue by proposing a decoupled multimodal distillation (DMD) approach that facilitates flexible and adaptive crossmodal knowledge distillation, aiming to enhance the discriminative features of each modality. Specially, the representation of each modality is decoupled into two parts, i.e., modality-irrelevant/-exclusive spaces, in a self-regression manner. DMD utilizes a graph distillation unit (GD-Unit) for each decoupled part so that each GD can be performed in a more specialized and effective manner. A GD-Unit consists of a dynamic graph where each vertice represents a modality and each edge indicates a dynamic knowledge distillation. Such GD paradigm provides a flexible knowledge transfer manner where the distillation weights can be automatically learned, thus enabling diverse crossmodal knowledge transfer patterns. Experimental results show DMD consistently obtains superior performance than state-of-the-art MER methods. Visualization results show the graph edges in DMD exhibit meaningful distributional patterns w.r.t. the modality-irrelevant/-exclusive feature spaces. Codes are released at

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