Seminar Qualitative Spatial Knowledge Representation and Reasoning


Organizational Issues

Lecturer Angela Schwering
Course Homepage Google Group (including course material)
Course material can be found on the password protected google group homepage. Please apply for permission to access on the Google group website.
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Module, Credit Points MSc Geoinformatik, Applications in GIS
MSc Geoinformatik, Advanced Topics of Computer Science
MSc Geospatial Technologies, Modul 5 "Seminar in GI"
Diplom Geoinformatik, Modul 10
2SWS / 3 ECTS
Time, Place Thursday, 14:15 - 16:45, RvE seminar room
Course Syllabus This course gives an overview of qualitative spatial representation and reasoning techniques. We survey the main aspects of representation of qualitative knowledge including topology, distance, orientation and shape. Finally, we discuss some examples for the practical relevance of these representation and reasoning techniques.
This course is a seminar. It consists mainly of student presentations, but there will be some lectures as well. In the lectures, the instructor summarizes the conclusions of the presentations and gives an overview of the main issues of the topics.
The following article gives a good overview of this lecture:
A. G. Cohn and J. Renz, Qualitative Spatial Representation and Reasoning, in: F. van Hermelen, V. Lifschitz, B. Porter, eds., Handbook of Knowledge Representation, Elsevier, 551-596, 2008
Informal Course Description Qualitative spatial reasoning plays an important role in many different application areas including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), computer vision, natural-language understanding, robot navigation, and common-sense reasoning. The following example is taken from a GIS and shall illustrate the relevance of QSR to our field of study.
Example
The picture above shows a truck, a factory and a water protection area in between. The truck driver shall deliver goods to the factory without driving through the water protection area. What spatial operator do you need to get possible routes (the non-dotted orange line)? Feel free to test your solution in a GIS.
Even though GIS are commonly used in our days, there occur many problems during human-computer interaction, because spatial operators are not intuitive and do not support common-sense reasoning. To access this information we need systems that support our qualitative way of thinking. In this course we will discuss how spatial information can be represented such that humans can use and reason on it easily.
Course Material Reading for the course is a set of research articles supplied by the instructor online. A schedule of weekly readings will be published soon. Please come to class prepared to discuss the readings listed for that day.
Course Requirements In order to get a certificate you need to:
  • prepare one presentation per student
  • prepare 3-5 page abstract of own presentation. Abstract + Presentation must be handed 2 days before presentation.
  • read every abstract before the presentation
  • exam at the end of the semester
  • choice: participation in QSR experiment or term paper
  • active oral participation in discussions
Grades will be determined by your presentation (35%), the abstract (35%), and your general class participation (30%). Class participation is mandatory (you will not be given a certificate / grade if missing class more than twice).