Zhao Han and Tom Williams


Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society

Publication Year

Robots must be able to communicate naturally and efficiently, e.g., using concise referring forms like it, that, and the ⟨N’⟩. Recently researchers have started working on Referring Form Selection (RFS) machine learning algorithms but only evaluating them offline using traditional metrics like accuracy. In this work, we investigated how a cognitive status-informed RFS computational model might fare in actual human-robot interactions in a human-subjects study (N=36). Results showed improvements over a random baseline in task performance, naturalness, understandability, and mental workload. However, the model was not perceived to outperform a simple, naive, non-random baseline (constant use of indefinite noun phrases). We contribute several key research directions for further development of cognitive status-informed RFS models, the inclusion of multi-modality, and further development of testbeds.