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Proceedings Paper

Sign language perception research for improving automatic sign language recognition
Author(s): Gineke A. ten Holt; Jeroen Arendsen; Huib de Ridder; Andrea J. Koenderink-van Doorn; Marcel J. T. Reinders; Emile A. Hendriks
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Paper Abstract

Current automatic sign language recognition (ASLR) seldom uses perceptual knowledge about the recognition of sign language. Using such knowledge can improve ASLR because it can give an indication which elements or phases of a sign are important for its meaning. Also, the current generation of data-driven ASLR methods has shortcomings which may not be solvable without the use of knowledge on human sign language processing. Handling variation in the precise execution of signs is an example of such shortcomings: data-driven methods (which include almost all current methods) have difficulty recognizing signs that deviate too much from the examples that were used to train the method. Insight into human sign processing is needed to solve these problems. Perceptual research on sign language can provide such insights. This paper discusses knowledge derived from a set of sign perception experiments, and the application of such knowledge in ASLR. Among the findings are the facts that not all phases and elements of a sign are equally informative, that defining the 'correct' form for a sign is not trivial, and that statistical ASLR methods do not necessarily arrive at sign representations that resemble those of human beings. Apparently, current ASLR methods are quite different from human observers: their method of learning gives them different sign definitions, they regard each moment and element of a sign as equally important and they employ a single definition of 'correct' for all circumstances. If the object is for an ASLR method to handle natural sign language, then the insights from sign perception research must be integrated into ASLR.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2009
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7240, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIV, 72400C (10 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.808750
Show Author Affiliations
Gineke A. ten Holt, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Jeroen Arendsen, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Huib de Ridder, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Andrea J. Koenderink-van Doorn, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Marcel J. T. Reinders, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)
Emile A. Hendriks, Delft Univ. of Technology (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7240:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIV
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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