Diagram Understanding: The Intersection of Computer Vision and Graphics

Unknown author (1985-11-01)

A problem common to Computer Vision and Computer Graphics is identified. It is the problem of representing, acquiring and validating symbolic descriptions of visual properties. The intersection of Computer Vision and Computer Graphics provides a basis for diagrammatic conversations between users and systems. I call this problem domain Diagram Understanding because of its analogy with Natural Language Understanding. The recognition and generation of visual objects from symbolic descriptions aare two sides of the same coin. A paradigm for the discovery and validation of higher-level visual properties is introduced. The paradigm involves two aspects. One is the notion of denotation: the map between symbolic descriptions and visual properties. The denotation map can be validated by focus on the conversation between users and a system. The second aspect involves a method for discovering a natural rich set of visual primitives. The notion of visual property is expanded, and the paradigm is further illustrated with a traditional business graphics example.