Learning to Follow Navigational Route Instructions

We have developed a simulation model that accepts instructions in unconstrained natural language, and then guides a robot to the correct destination. The instructions are segmented on the basis of the actions to be taken, and each segment is labeled with the required action. This flat formulation reduces the problem to a sequential labeling task, to which machine learning methods are applied. We propose an innovativemachine learningmethod for explicitly modeling the actions described in instructions and integrating learning and inference about the physical environment. We obtained a corpus of 840 route instructions that experimenters verified as follow-able, given by people in building navigation situations. Using the four-fold cross validation, our experiments showed that the simulated robot reached the correct destination 88% of the time.

Nobuyuki Shimizu, Andrew Haas