Audio-visual source localization is a challenging task that aims to predict the location of visual sound sources in a video. Since collecting ground-truth annotations of sounding objects can be costly, a plethora of weakly-supervised localization methods that can learn from datasets with no bounding-box annotations have been proposed in recent years, by leveraging the natural co-occurrence of audio and visual signals. Despite significant interest, popular evaluation protocols have two major flaws. First, they allow for the use of a fully annotated dataset to perform early stopping, thus significantly increasing the annotation effort required for training. Second, current evaluation metrics assume the presence of sound sources at all times. This is of course an unrealistic assumption, and thus better metrics are necessary to capture the model's performance on (negative) samples with no visible sound sources. To accomplish this, we extend the test set of popular benchmarks, Flickr SoundNet and VGG-Sound Sources, in order to include negative samples, and measure performance using metrics that balance localization accuracy and recall. Using the new protocol, we conducted an extensive evaluation of prior methods, and found that most prior works are not capable of identifying negatives and suffer from significant overfitting problems (rely heavily on early stopping for best results). We also propose a new approach for visual sound source localization that addresses both these problems. In particular, we found that, through extreme visual dropout and the use of momentum encoders, the proposed approach combats overfitting effectively, and establishes a new state-of-the-art performance on both Flickr SoundNet and VGG-Sound Source.
Published at: Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), New Orleans, 2022.