The effect of occlusion on the semantics of projective spatial terms: a case study in grounding language in perception

John Kelleher, Dublin Institute of Technology
Robert Ross, Applied Inteligence Research Centre, Dublin Institute of Technology
Colm Sloan, Dublin Institute of Technology
Brian Mac Namee, Dublin Institute of Technology

Document Type Article

Cognitive Processing, Springer. Available from the Publisher here /


Although data-driven spatial template models provide a practical and cognitively motivated mechanism for characterizing spatial term meaning, the influence of perceptual rather than solely geometric and functional properties has yet to be systematically investigated. In the light of this, in this paper, we investigate the effects of the perceptual phenomenon of object occlusion on the semantics of projective terms. We did this by conducting a study to test whether object occlusion had a noticeable effect on the acceptance values assigned to projective terms with respect to a 2.5-dimensional visual stimulus. Based on the data collected, a regression model was constructed and presented. Subsequent analysis showed that the regression model that included the occlusion factor outperformed an adaptation of Regier & Carlson’s well-regarded AVS model for that same spatial configuration.