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Reasoning about natural language phrases for semantic goal driven exploration

 Talbot, Ben, Schulz, Ruth, Upcroft, Ben, & Wyeth, Gordon (2015) Reasoning about natural language phrases for semantic goal driven exploration. In 2015 Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation (ACRA 2015), 2-4 December 2015, Canberra, ACT.

This paper presents a symbolic navigation system that uses spatial language descriptions to inform goal-directed exploration in unfamiliar office environments. An abstract map is created from a collection of natural language phrases describing the spatial layout of the environment. The spatial representation in the abstract map is controlled by a constraint based interpretation of each natural language phrase. In goal-directed exploration of an unseen office environment, the robot links the information in the abstract map to observed symbolic information and its grounded world representation. This paper demonstrates the ability of the system to efficiently find target rooms in three simulated environments, as well as a real-world environment that it's never been to previously. It is shown that by using only natural language phrases, the system can navigate to rooms in completely unexplored environments by travelling only 8.42% further than the optimal path.

Floor plan for the Key floor (simulated):

Example phrases:

You are in the Hall

Room F is down the Hall

Room G is left of Room F

Room I is after Room J

Abstract Map:

Grounded Abstract Map after finding Room I:

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