SciCap: Generating Captions for Scientific Figures

by   Ting-Yao Hsu, et al.
Penn State University

Researchers use figures to communicate rich, complex information in scientific papers. The captions of these figures are critical to conveying effective messages. However, low-quality figure captions commonly occur in scientific articles and may decrease understanding. In this paper, we propose an end-to-end neural framework to automatically generate informative, high-quality captions for scientific figures. To this end, we introduce SCICAP, a large-scale figure-caption dataset based on computer science arXiv papers published between 2010 and 2020. After pre-processing - including figure-type classification, sub-figure identification, text normalization, and caption text selection - SCICAP contained more than two million figures extracted from over 290,000 papers. We then established baseline models that caption graph plots, the dominant (19.2 opportunities and steep challenges of generating captions for scientific figures.


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