Paper: Learning to Follow Navigational Directions

ACL ID P10-1083
Title Learning to Follow Navigational Directions
Venue Annual Meeting of the Association of Computational Linguistics
Session Main Conference
Year 2010

We present a system that learns to fol- low navigational natural language direc- tions. Where traditional models learn from linguistic annotation or word distri- butions, our approach is grounded in the world, learning by apprenticeship from routes through a map paired with English descriptions. Lacking an explicit align- ment between the text and the reference path makes it difficult to determine what portions of the language describe which aspects of the route. We learn this corre- spondence with a reinforcement learning algorithm, using the deviation of the route we follow from the intended path as a re- ward signal. We demonstrate that our sys- tem successfully grounds the meaning of spatial terms like above and south into ge- ometric properties of paths.