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Hand Gesture Symmetric Behavior Detection and Analysis in Natural Conversation

By Yingen Xiong, Francis Quek and David McNeill


We present an experimental investigation into the phenomenon of gestural symmetry for two-handed gestures accompanying speech. We describe an approach to compute hand motion symmetries based on the correlation computations. Local symmetries are detected using a windowing operation. We demonstrate that the selection of a smaller window size results in better sensitivity to local symmetries at the expense of noise in the form of spurious symmetries and ‘symmetry dropoffs’. Our algorithm applies a ‘hole filling’ post process to address these detection problems. We examine the role of the detected motion symmetries of two-handed gestures in the structuring of speech. We compared discourse segments corresponding to extracted symmetries in two natural conversations against a discourse analysis by expert psycholinguistic coders. These comparisons illustrate the effectiveness of the symmetry feature for the understanding of underlying discourse structure. We believe that this basic characteristic of two-handed gestures accompanying speech must be incorporated in any multimodal interaction system involving two-handed gestures and speech

Year: 2002
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