CAESAR: An Embodied Simulator for Generating Multimodal Referring Expression Datasets

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Datasets and Benchmarks Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Md Mofijul Islam, Reza Mirzaiee, Alexi Gladstone, Haley Green, Tariq Iqbal


Humans naturally use verbal utterances and nonverbal gestures to refer to various objects (known as $\textit{referring expressions}$) in different interactional scenarios. As collecting real human interaction datasets are costly and laborious, synthetic datasets are often used to train models to unambiguously detect relationships among objects. However, existing synthetic data generation tools that provide referring expressions generally neglect nonverbal gestures. Additionally, while a few small-scale datasets contain multimodal cues (verbal and nonverbal), these datasets only capture the nonverbal gestures from an exo-centric perspective (observer). As models can use complementary information from multimodal cues to recognize referring expressions, generating multimodal data from multiple views can help to develop robust models. To address these critical issues, in this paper, we present a novel embodied simulator, CAESAR, to generate multimodal referring expressions containing both verbal utterances and nonverbal cues captured from multiple views. Using our simulator, we have generated two large-scale embodied referring expression datasets, which we have released publicly. We have conducted experimental analyses on embodied spatial relation grounding using various state-of-the-art baseline models. Our experimental results suggest that visual perspective affects the models' performance; and that nonverbal cues improve spatial relation grounding accuracy. Finally, we will release the simulator publicly to allow researchers to generate new embodied interaction datasets.