F. Mocnik:

"A Scale-Invariant Spatial Graph Model";

Supervisor, Reviewer: A. Frank, G. Gottlob; Department für Geodäsie und Geoinformation, 2016; oral examination: 2016-01-19.

Information is called spatial if it contains references to space. The thesis aims at lifting the characterization of spatial information to a structural level. Toblerīs first law of geography and scale invariance are widely used to characterize spatial information, but their formal description is based on explicit references to space, which prevents them from being used in the structural characterization of spatial information. To overcome this problem, the author proposes a graph model that exposes, when embedded in space, typical properties of spatial information, amongst others Toblerīs law and scale invariance. The graph model, considered as an abstract graph, still exposes the effect of these typical properties on the structure of the graph and can thus be used for the discussion of these typical properties at a structural level.

A comparison of the proposed model to several spatial and non-spatial data sets in this thesis suggests that spatial data sets can be characterized by a common structure, because the considered spatial data sets expose structural similarities to the proposed model but the non-spatial data sets do not. This proves the concept of a spatial structure to be meaningful, and the proposed model to be a model of spatial structure. The dimension of space has an impact on spatial information, and thus also on the spatial structure. The thesis examines how the properties of the proposed graph model, in particular in case of a uniform distribution of nodes in space, depend on the dimension of space and shows how to estimate the dimension from the structure of a data set.

The results of the thesis, in particular the concept of a spatial structure and the proposed graph model, are a fundamental contribution to the discussion of spatial information at a structural level: algorithms that operate on spatial data can be improved by paying attention to the spatial structure; a statistical evaluation of considerations about spatial data is rendered possible, because the graph model can generate arbitrarily many test data sets with controlled properties; and the detection of spatial structures as well as the estimation of the dimension and other parameters can contribute to the long-term goal of using data with incomplete or missing semantics.

Information is called spatial if it contains references to space. The thesis aims at lifting the characterization of spatial information to a structural level. Toblerīs first law of geography and scale invariance are widely used to characterize spatial information, but their formal description is based on explicit references to space, which prevents them from being used in the structural characterization of spatial information. To overcome this problem, the author proposes a graph model that exposes, when embedded in space, typical properties of spatial information, amongst others Toblerīs law and scale invariance. The graph model, considered as an abstract graph, still exposes the effect of these typical properties on the structure of the graph and can thus be used for the discussion of these typical properties at a structural level.

A comparison of the proposed model to several spatial and non-spatial data sets in this thesis suggests that spatial data sets can be characterized by a common structure, because the considered spatial data sets expose structural similarities to the proposed model but the non-spatial data sets do not. This proves the concept of a spatial structure to be meaningful, and the proposed model to be a model of spatial structure. The dimension of space has an impact on spatial information, and thus also on the spatial structure. The thesis examines how the properties of the proposed graph model, in particular in case of a uniform distribution of nodes in space, depend on the dimension of space and shows how to estimate the dimension from the structure of a data set.

The results of the thesis, in particular the concept of a spatial structure and the proposed graph model, are a fundamental contribution to the discussion of spatial information at a structural level: algorithms that operate on spatial data can be improved by paying attention to the spatial structure; a statistical evaluation of considerations about spatial data is rendered possible, because the graph model can generate arbitrarily many test data sets with controlled properties; and the detection of spatial structures as well as the estimation of the dimension and other parameters can contribute to the long-term goal of using data with incomplete or missing semantics.

Space, structure, graph model, public transport, games

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