Context-dependent communication under environmental constraints
Krzysztof Główka, Julian Zubek, Joanna Rączaszek-Leonardi
Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence (cs.AI), Computation and Language (cs.CL)
There is significant evidence that real-world communication cannot be reduced to sending signals with context-independent meaning. In this work, based on a variant of the classical Lewis (1969) signaling model, we explore the conditions for the emergence of context-dependent communication in a situated scenario. In particular, we demonstrate that pressure to minimise the vocabulary size is sufficient for such emergence. At the same time, we study the environmental conditions and cognitive capabilities that enable contextual disambiguation of symbol meanings. We show that environmental constraints on the receiver's referent choice can be unilaterally exploited by the sender, without disambiguation capabilities on the receiver's end. Consistent with common assumptions, the sender's awareness of the context appears to be required for contextual communication. We suggest that context-dependent communication is a situated multilayered phenomenon, crucially influenced by environment properties such as distribution of contexts. The model developed in this work is a demonstration of how signals may be ambiguous out of context, but still allow for near-perfect communication accuracy.