Exploiting Visual Salience for the Generation of Referring Expressions

John Kelleher and Josef van Genabith

In this paper we present a novel approach to generating referring expressions (GRE) that is tailored to a model of the visual context the user is attending to. The approach integrates a new computational model of visual salience in simulated 3-D environments with Dale and Reiter’s (1995) Incremental Algorithm. The advantage of our GRE framework are: (1) the context set used by the GRE algorithm is dynamically computed by the visual saliency algorithm as a user navigates through a simulation; (2) the integration of visual salience into the generation process means that in some instances underspecified but sufficiently detailed descriptions of the target object are generated that are shorter than those generated by GRE algorithms which focus purely on adjectival and type attributes; (3) the integration of visual saliency into the generation process means that our GRE algorithm will in some instances succeed in generating a description of the target object in situations where GRE algorithms which focus purely on adjectival and type attributes fail.


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