Exploring cultural differences in pictogram interpretations

Heeryon Cho*, Toru Ishida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


Pictogram communication is successful when participants at both ends of the communication channel share a common pictogram interpretation. Not all pictograms carry a universal interpretation, however; the issue of ambiguous pictogram interpretation must be addressed to assist pictogram communication. To unveil the ambiguity possible in pictogram interpretation, we conduct a human subject experiment to identify culture-specific criteria employed by humans by detecting cultural differences in pictogram interpretations. Based on the findings, we propose a categorical semantic relevance measure which calculates how relevant a pictogram is to a given interpretation in terms of a given pictogram category. The proposed measure is applied to categorized pictogram interpretations to enhance pictogram retrieval performance. The WordNet, the ChaSen, and the EDR Electronic Dictionary registered to the Language Grid are utilized to merge synonymous pictogram interpretations and to categorize pictogram interpretations into super-concept categories. We show how the Language Grid can assist the cross-cultural research process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCognitive Technologies
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameCognitive Technologies
ISSN (Print)1611-2482

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Artificial Intelligence


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