sign-lang@LREC Anthology


Segmentation of Signs for Research Purposes: Comparing Humans and Machines

Woll, Bencie | Fox, Neil | Cormier, Kearsy


Volume:
Proceedings of the LREC2022 10th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Multilingual Sign Language Resources
Venue:
Marseille, France
Date:
25 June 2022
Pages:
198–201
Publisher:
European Language Resources Association (ELRA)
License:
CC BY-NC 4.0
sign-lang ID:
22007
ACL ID:
2022.signlang-1.31
ISBN:
979-10-95546-86-3

Abstract

Sign languages such as British Sign Language (BSL) are visual languages which lack standard writing systems. Annotation of sign language data, especially for the purposes of machine readability, is therefore extremely slow. Tools to help automate and thus speed up the annotation process are very much needed. Here we test the development of one such tool (VIA-SLA), which uses temporal convolutional networks (Renz et al., 2021a, b) for the purpose of segmenting continuous signing in any sign language, and is designed to integrate smoothly with ELAN, the widely used annotation software for analysis of videos of sign language. We compare automatic segmentation by machine with segmentation done by a human, both in terms of time needed and accuracy of segmentation, using samples taken from the BSL Corpus (Schembri et al., 2014). A small sample of four short video files is tested (mean duration 25 seconds). We find that mean accuracy in terms of number and location of segmentations is relatively high, at around 78%. This preliminary test suggests that VIA-SLA promises to be very useful for sign linguists.

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@inproceedings{woll:22007:sign-lang:lrec,
  author    = {Woll, Bencie and Fox, Neil and Cormier, Kearsy},
  title     = {Segmentation of Signs for Research Purposes: Comparing Humans and Machines},
  pages     = {198--201},
  editor    = {Efthimiou, Eleni and Fotinea, Stavroula-Evita and Hanke, Thomas and Hochgesang, Julie A. and Kristoffersen, Jette and Mesch, Johanna and Schulder, Marc},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the {LREC2022} 10th Workshop on the Representation and Processing of Sign Languages: Multilingual Sign Language Resources},
  maintitle = {13th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation ({LREC} 2022)},
  publisher = {{European Language Resources Association (ELRA)}},
  address   = {Marseille, France},
  day       = {25},
  month     = jun,
  year      = {2022},
  isbn      = {979-10-95546-86-3},
  language  = {english},
  url       = {https://www.sign-lang.uni-hamburg.de/lrec/pub/22007.pdf}
}
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