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Preethi Vaidyanathan, Emily Prud’hommeaux, Cecilia O. Alm, Jeff B. Pelz; Computational framework for fusing eye movements and spoken narratives for image annotation. Journal of Vision 2020;20(7):13. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.7.13.
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Despite many recent advances in the field of computer vision, there remains a disconnect between how computers process images and how humans understand them. To begin to bridge this gap, we propose a framework that integrates human-elicited gaze and spoken language to label perceptually important regions in an image. Our work relies on the notion that gaze and spoken narratives can jointly model how humans inspect and analyze images. Using an unsupervised bitext alignment algorithm originally developed for machine translation, we create meaningful mappings between participants’ eye movements over an image and their spoken descriptions of that image. The resulting multimodal alignments are then used to annotate image regions with linguistic labels. The accuracy of these labels exceeds that of baseline alignments obtained using purely temporal correspondence between fixations and words. We also find differences in system performances when identifying image regions using clustering methods that rely on gaze information rather than image features. The alignments produced by our framework can be used to create a database of low-level image features and high-level semantic annotations corresponding to perceptually important image regions. The framework can potentially be applied to any multimodal data stream and to any visual domain. To this end, we provide the research community with access to the computational framework.
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