In this paper, we represent sign language sequences as a skeletal graph structure, with joints as nodes and both spatial and temporal connections as edges. To operate on this graphical structure, we propose Skeletal Graph Self-Attention (SGSA), a novel graphical attention layer that embeds a skeleton inductive bias into the SLP model. Retaining the skeletal feature representation throughout, we directly apply a spatio-temporal adjacency matrix into the self-attention formulation. This provides structure and context to each skeletal joint that is not possible when using a non-graphical abstract representation, enabling fluid and expressive sign language production.
We evaluate our Skeletal Graph Self-Attention architecture on the challenging RWTH-PHOENIX-Weather-2014T (PHOENIX14T) dataset, achieving state-of-the-art back translation performance with an 8% and 7% improvement over competing methods for the dev and test sets.
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