Generating Explanatory Captions for Information Graphics

Vibhu O. Mittal, Steven F. Roth, Johanna D. Moore, Joe Mattis, Giuseppe Carenini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Graphical presentations can be used to communicate information in relational data sets succinctly and effectively. However, novel graphical presentations
about numerous attributes and their relationships are often difficult to understand completely until explained. Automatically generated graphical presentations must therefore either be limited to simple, conventional ones, or risk incomprehensibility. One way of alleviating this problem is to design graphical presentation systems that can work in conjunction with a natural language generator to produce “explanatory captions.” This paper presents three strategies for generating explanatory captions to accompany information graphics based on: (1) a representation of the structure of the graphical
presentation (2) a framework for identifying the perceptual complexity of graphical elements, and (3) the structure of the data expressed in the graphic.
We describe an implemented system and illustrate how it is used to generate explanatory captions for a range of graphics from a data set about real estate
transactions in Pittsburgh.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fourteenth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, IJCAI 95, Montréal Québec, Canada, August 20-25 1995, 2 Volumes
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1995

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