Skip to yearly menu bar Skip to main content


SpotEM: Efficient Video Search for Episodic Memory

Santhosh Kumar Ramakrishnan · Ziad Al-Halah · Kristen Grauman

Exhibit Hall 1 #701
[ ]
[ PDF [ Poster


The goal in episodic memory (EM) is to search a long egocentric video to answer a natural language query (e.g., “where did I leave my purse?”). Existing EM methods exhaustively extract expensive fixed-length clip features to look everywhere in the video for the answer, which is infeasible for long wearable-camera videos that span hours or even days. We propose SpotEM, an approach to achieve efficiency for a given EM method while maintaining good accuracy. SpotEM consists of three key ideas: 1) a novel clip selector that learns to identify promising video regions to search conditioned on the language query; 2) a set of low-cost semantic indexing features that capture the context of rooms, objects, and interactions that suggest where to look; and 3) distillation losses that address the optimization issues arising from end-to-end joint training of the clip selector and EM model. Our experiments on 200+ hours of video from the Ego4D EM Natural Language Queries benchmark and three different EM models demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach: computing only 10% – 25% of the clip features, we preserve 84% – 97% of the original EM model’s accuracy. Project page:

Chat is not available.