Alexander Ku


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Room-Across-Room: Multilingual Vision-and-Language Navigation with Dense Spatiotemporal Grounding
Alexander Ku | Peter Anderson | Roma Patel | Eugene Ie | Jason Baldridge
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We introduce Room-Across-Room (RxR), a new Vision-and-Language Navigation (VLN) dataset. RxR is multilingual (English, Hindi, and Telugu) and larger (more paths and instructions) than other VLN datasets. It emphasizes the role of language in VLN by addressing known biases in paths and eliciting more references to visible entities. Furthermore, each word in an instruction is time-aligned to the virtual poses of instruction creators and validators. We establish baseline scores for monolingual and multilingual settings and multitask learning when including Room-to-Room annotations (Anderson et al., 2018). We also provide results for a model that learns from synchronized pose traces by focusing only on portions of the panorama attended to in human demonstrations. The size, scope and detail of RxR dramatically expands the frontier for research on embodied language agents in photorealistic simulated environments.


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Stay on the Path: Instruction Fidelity in Vision-and-Language Navigation
Vihan Jain | Gabriel Magalhaes | Alexander Ku | Ashish Vaswani | Eugene Ie | Jason Baldridge
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Advances in learning and representations have reinvigorated work that connects language to other modalities. A particularly exciting direction is Vision-and-Language Navigation(VLN), in which agents interpret natural language instructions and visual scenes to move through environments and reach goals. Despite recent progress, current research leaves unclear how much of a role language under-standing plays in this task, especially because dominant evaluation metrics have focused on goal completion rather than the sequence of actions corresponding to the instructions. Here, we highlight shortcomings of current metrics for the Room-to-Room dataset (Anderson et al.,2018b) and propose a new metric, Coverage weighted by Length Score (CLS). We also show that the existing paths in the dataset are not ideal for evaluating instruction following because they are direct-to-goal shortest paths. We join existing short paths to form more challenging extended paths to create a new data set, Room-for-Room (R4R). Using R4R and CLS, we show that agents that receive rewards for instruction fidelity outperform agents that focus on goal completion.