Relative Positions in Words:
A System that Builds Descriptions Around Allen Relations


In this paper, we introduce a system able to generate an intuitive, human-like linguistic description of the topological relationships between two objects. The description includes approximate terms commonly found in daily communications. It attempts to capture the essential characteristics of the relationships, while leaving out superfluous and possibly overwhelming detail. The objects are 2-D image objects. They need not be convex, nor connected, and they may have holes in them. Each description is built around Allen relations, based on information extracted from F-histograms. It consists of a topological component that indicates the primary topological relationships, directional estimates of where these relationships are most prominent, and a self-assessment component which reflects the complexity of the situation. Experiments on synthetic and real data validate the approach.