A. Frank:

"Qualitative Spatial Reasoning: Cardinal Directions as an Example";

in: "Classics from IJGIS", P. Fisher (ed.); issued by: CRC; CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl., 2006, ISBN: 978-0-8493-7042-7, 327 - 353.

Geographers use spatial reasoning extensively in large-scale spaces, i.e., spaces that cannot be seen or understood from a single point of view. Spatial reasoning differentiates several spatial relations, e.g. topological or metric relations, and is typically formalized using a Cartesian coordinate system and vector algebra. This quantitative processing of information is clearly different from the ways human draw conclusions about spatial relations. Formalized qualitative reasoning processes are shown to be a necessary part of Spatial Expert Systems and Geographical Information Systems. Addressing a subset of the total problem, namely reasoning with cardinal directions, a completely qualitative method, without resource to analytical procedures, is introduced and a method for its formal comparison with quantitative formula is defined. The focus is on the analysis of cardinal directions and their properties. An algebraic method is used to formalize the meaning of directions. The standard directional symbols (N, W, etc.) are supplemented with a symbol corresponding to an undetermined direction between points too close to each other which greatly increases the power of the inference rules. Two specific systems to determine and reason with cardinal directions are discussed in some detail.

From this example and some other previous work, a comprehensive set of research steps is laid out, following a mathematically based taxonomy. It includes the extension of distance and direction reasoning to extended objects and the definitions of other metric relations that characterize situations when objects are not disjoined. The conclusions compare such an approach with other concepts.

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.