Things not Written in Text: Exploring Spatial Commonsense from Visual Signals

Xiao Liu, Da Yin, Yansong Feng, Dongyan Zhao


Abstract
Spatial commonsense, the knowledge about spatial position and relationship between objects (like the relative size of a lion and a girl, and the position of a boy relative to a bicycle when cycling), is an important part of commonsense knowledge. Although pretrained language models (PLMs) succeed in many NLP tasks, they are shown to be ineffective in spatial commonsense reasoning. Starting from the observation that images are more likely to exhibit spatial commonsense than texts, we explore whether models with visual signals learn more spatial commonsense than text-based PLMs. We propose a spatial commonsense benchmark that focuses on the relative scales of objects, and the positional relationship between people and objects under different actions.We probe PLMs and models with visual signals, including vision-language pretrained models and image synthesis models, on this benchmark, and find that image synthesis models are more capable of learning accurate and consistent spatial knowledge than other models. The spatial knowledge from image synthesis models also helps in natural language understanding tasks that require spatial commonsense.
Anthology ID:
2022.acl-long.168
Volume:
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Month:
May
Year:
2022
Address:
Dublin, Ireland
Venue:
ACL
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
2365–2376
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.acl-long.168
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2022.acl-long.168
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Xiao Liu, Da Yin, Yansong Feng, and Dongyan Zhao. 2022. Things not Written in Text: Exploring Spatial Commonsense from Visual Signals. In Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers), pages 2365–2376, Dublin, Ireland. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Things not Written in Text: Exploring Spatial Commonsense from Visual Signals (Liu et al., ACL 2022)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2022.acl-long.168.pdf
Software:
 2022.acl-long.168.software.zip
Code
 xxxiaol/spatial-commonsense
Data
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