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Relative positions in words: a system that builds descriptions around Allen relations

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In this paper, we introduce a system able to generate an intuitive, human-like linguistic description of the topological relationships between two objects. The description includes approximate terms commonly found in daily communications. It attempts to capture the essential characteristics of the relationships, while leaving out superfluous and possibly overwhelming detail. The objects are 2-D image objects. They need not be convex, nor connected, and they may have holes in them. Each description is built around Allen relations, based on information extracted from F-histograms. It consists of a topological component that indicates the primary topological relationships, directional estimates of where these relationships are most prominent, and a self-assessment component which reflects the complexity of the situation. Experiments on synthetic and real data validate the approach.

Keywords: Allen relations; F-histograms; Fuzzy sets and fuzzy logic; Natural language descriptions; Topological and directional relationships

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13658810802270587

Affiliations: Department of Computing and Information Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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