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Proximity in Context: an empirically grounded computational model of proximity for processing topological spatial expressions

John Kelleher; Geert-Jan Kruijff; Fintan Costello
In: Proceedings of ACL/COLING 2006. International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING-2006), located at International Committee on Computational Linguistics and the Association for Computational Linguistics, July 17-21, Sydney, Australia, ACL, 2006.


The paper presents a new model for context- dependent interpretation of linguistic expressions about spatial proximity between objects in a nat- ural scene. The paper discusses novel psycholin- guistic experimental data that tests and verifies the model. The model has been implemented, and en- ables a conversational robot to identify objects in a scene through topological spatial relations (e.g. 'X near Y'). The model can help motivate the choice between topological and projective prepositions.