Med-UniC: Unifying Cross-Lingual Medical Vision-Language Pre-Training by Diminishing Bias

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Medical Vision Langauge Pretraining, Cross-lingual, Language bias
Abstract: The scarcity of data presents a critical obstacle to the efficacy of medical vision-language pre-training (VLP). A potential solution lies in the combination of datasets from various language communities. Nevertheless, the main challenge stems from the complexity of integrating diverse syntax and semantics, language-specific medical terminology, and culture-specific implicit knowledge. Therefore, one crucial aspect to consider is the presence of community bias caused by different languages. This paper presents a novel framework named Unifying Cross-Lingual Medical Vision-Language Pre-Training (\textbf{Med-UniC}), designed to integrate multi-modal medical data from the two most prevalent languages, English and Spanish. Specifically, we propose \textbf{C}ross-lingual \textbf{T}ext Alignment \textbf{R}egularization (\textbf{CTR}) to explicitly unify cross-lingual semantic representations of medical reports originating from diverse language communities. \textbf{CTR} is optimized through latent language disentanglement, rendering our optimization objective to not depend on negative samples, thereby significantly mitigating the bias from determining positive-negative sample pairs within analogous medical reports. Furthermore, it ensures that the cross-lingual representation is not biased toward any specific language community. \textbf{Med-UniC} reaches superior performance across 5 medical image tasks and 10 datasets encompassing over 30 diseases, offering a versatile framework for unifying multi-modal medical data within diverse linguistic communities. The experimental outcomes highlight the presence of community bias in cross-lingual VLP. Reducing this bias enhances the performance not only in vision-language tasks but also in uni-modal visual tasks.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 519