Generating spatial referring expressions is key to allowing robots to communicate with people in an environment. The focus of most algorithms for generation is to create a non-ambiguous description, and how best to deal with the combination explosion this can create in a complex environment. However, this is not how people naturally communicate. Humans tend to give an under-specified description and then rely on a strategy of repair to reduce the number of possible locations or objects until the correct one is identified, what we refer to here as a dynamic description. We present here a method for generating these dynamic descriptions for Human Robot Interaction, using machine learning to generate repair statements. We also present a study with 61 participants in a task on object placement. This task was presented in a 2D environment that favored a non-ambiguous description. In this study we demonstrate that our dynamic method of communication can be more efficient for people to identify a location compared to one that is non-ambiguous.



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Frontiers in Robotics and AI



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School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics