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Image annotation aims to annotate a given image with a variable number of class labels corresponding to diverse visual concepts. In this paper, we address two main issues in large-scale image annotation: 1) how to learn a rich feature representation suitable for predicting a diverse set of visual concepts ranging from object, scene to abstract concept and 2) how to annotate an image with the optimal number of class labels. To address the first issue, we propose a novel multi-scale deep model for extracting rich and discriminative features capable of representing a wide range of visual concepts. Specifically, a novel two-branch deep neural network architecture is proposed, which comprises a very deep main network branch and a companion feature fusion network branch designed for fusing the multi-scale features computed from the main branch. The deep model is also made multi-modal by taking noisy user-provided tags as model input to complement the image input. For tackling the second issue, we introduce a label quantity prediction auxiliary task to the main label prediction task to explicitly estimate the optimal label number for a given image. Extensive experiments are carried out on two large-scale image annotation benchmark datasets, and the results show that our method significantly outperforms the state of the art.
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