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V?: Guided Visual Search as a Core Mechanism in Multimodal LLMs

Penghao Wu · Saining Xie

Arch 4A-E Poster #333
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Thu 20 Jun 10:30 a.m. PDT — noon PDT

Abstract: When we look around and perform complex tasks, how we see and selectively process what we see is crucial. However, the lack of this visual search mechanism in current multimodal LLMs (MLLMs) hinders their ability to focus on important visual details, especially when handling high-resolution and visually crowded images. To address this, we introduce V$^*$, an LLM-guided visual search mechanism that employs the world knowledge in LLMs for efficient visual querying. When combined with an MLLM, this mechanism enhances collaborative reasoning, contextual understanding, and precise visual grounding. This integration results in a new MLLM meta-architecture, named **S**how, S**EA**rch, and Tel**L** (SEAL). We further create V$^*$Bench, a benchmark specifically designed to evaluate MLLMs in their ability to process high-resolution images and focus on visual details. Our study highlights the necessity of incorporating visual search capabilities into multimodal systems. The code is available at

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