Culturally-situated pictogram retrieval

Heeryon Cho*, Toru Ishida, Naomi Yamashita, Rieko Inaba, Yumiko Mori, Tomoko Koda

*Corresponding author for this work

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

19 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies the patterns of cultural differences observed in pictogram interpretation. We conducted a 14-month online survey in the U.S. and Japan to ask the meaning of 120 pictograms used in a pictogram communication system. A total of 935 respondents in the U.S. and 543 respondents in Japan participated in the survey to submit pictogram interpretations which added up to compose an average of 147 English interpretations and 97 Japanese interpretations per pictogram. Three human judges independently analyzed the English-Japanese pictogram interpretation words, and as a result, 19 pictograms were found to have culturally different interpretations by two or more judges. The following patterns of cultural differences in pictogram interpretation were observed: (1) two cultures share the same underlying concept, but have different perspectives on the concept, (2) two cultures only partially share the same underlying concept, and (3) two cultures do not share any common underlying concept.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntercultural Collaboration - First International Workshop, IWIC 2007, Invited and Selected Papers
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9783540739999
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event1st International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration, IWIC 2007 - Kyoto, Japan
Duration: 2007 Jan 252007 Jan 26

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4568 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other1st International Workshop on Intercultural Collaboration, IWIC 2007


  • Analysis
  • Cultural difference
  • Interpretation
  • Pictogram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


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