Learning to Perceive Two-Dimensional Displays Using Probabilistic Grammars
People learn to read and understand various displays (e.g., tables on webpages and software user interfaces) every day. How do humans learn to process such displays? Can computers be efficiently taught to understand and use such displays? In this paper, we use statistical learning to model how humans learn to perceive visual displays. We extend an existing probabilistic context-free grammar learner to support learning within a two-dimensional space by incorporating spatial and temporal information. Experimental results in both synthetic domains and real world domains show that the proposed learning algorithm is effective in acquiring user interface layout. Furthermore, we evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm within an intelligent tutoring agent, SimStudent, by integrating the learned display representation into the agent. Experimental results in learning complex problem solving skills in three domains show that the learned display representation is as good as one created by a human expert, in that skill learning using the learned representation is as effective as using a manually created representation.