Cross-Modal Food Retrieval: Learning a Joint Embedding of Food Images and Recipes with Semantic Consistency and Attention Mechanism


Food retrieval is an important task to perform analysis of food related information, where we are interested in retrieving relevant information about the queried food item such as ingredients, cooking instructions, etc. In this paper, we investigate cross-modal retrieval between food images and cooking recipes. The goal is to learn an embedding of images and recipes in a common feature space, such that the corresponding image-recipe embeddings lie close to one another. Two major challenges in addressing this problem are: 1) large intra-variance and small inter-variance across cross-modal food data; and 2) difficulties in obtaining discriminative recipe representations. To address these two problems, we propose Semantic-Consistent and Attention-based Networks (SCAN), which regularize the embeddings of the two modalities through aligning output semantic probabilities. In addition, we exploit a self-attention mechanism to improve the embedding of recipes. We evaluate the performance of the proposed method on the large-scale Recipe1M dataset, and show that we can outperform several state-of-the-art cross-modal retrieval strategies for food images and cooking recipes by a significant margin.

IEEE Transactions on Multimedia