EI-CLIP: Entity-Aware Interventional Contrastive Learning for E-Commerce Cross-Modal Retrieval

IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR)

Publication date: September 27, 2022

Haoyu Ma, Handong Zhao, Zhe Lin, Ajinkya Kale, Zhangyang Wang, Tong Yu, Jiuxiang Gu, Sunav Choudhary, Xiaohui Xie

Cross language-image modality retrieval in E-commerce is a fundamental problem for product search, recommendation, and marketing services. Extensive efforts have been made to conquer the cross-modal retrieval problem in the general domain. When it comes to E-commerce, a common practice is to adopt the pretrained model and finetune on E-commerce data. Despite its simplicity, the performance is sub-optimal due to overlooking the uniqueness of E-commerce multimodal data. A few recent efforts [10], [72] have shown significant improvements over generic methods with customized designs for handling product images. Unfortunately, to the best of our knowledge, no existing method has addressed the unique challenges in the e-commerce language. This work studies the outstanding one, where it has a large collection of special meaning entities, e.g. “Di s s e l (brand)”, “Top (category)”, “relaxed (fit)” in the fashion clothing business. By formulating such out-of-distribution finetuning process in the Causal Inference paradigm, we view the erroneous semantics of these special entities as confounders to cause the retrieval failure. To rectify these semantics for aligning with e-commerce domain knowledge, we propose an intervention-based entity-aware contrastive learning framework with two modules, i.e. the Confounding Entity Selection Module and Entity-Aware Learning Module. Our method achieves competitive performance on the E-commerce benchmark Fashion-Gen. Particularly, in top-1 accuracy (R@l), we observe 10.3% and 10.5% relative improvements over the closest baseline in image-to-text and text-to-image retrievals, respectively.

Learn More