Commonsense notions of proximity and direction
AuthorWORBOYS, MICHAEL; DUCKHAM, MATT; KULIK, LARS
Source TitleSpatial Cognition and Computation
AffiliationEngineering: Department of Geomatics
Document TypeJournal (Paginated)
CitationsWorboys, M., Duckham, M., & Kulik, L. (2004). Commonsense notions of proximity and direction. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 4(4), 285-312.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2004 Springer Verlag. The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
It is desirable that formal theories of qualitative reasoning should be informed by the ways in which humans conceptualize the spaces in which they live. The work described in this paper uses data provided in experiments with human subjects to derive some regularities in such conceptualizations. The data concerns human conceptualization of proximity and direction within a university campus. The results are analyzed using several approaches. In particular, the relationship between geometric and human conceptual models of the space is explored; the structure and regularities of combinations of proximity and direction relations are examined; and the issue of granularity in vague spatial relations is considered. Overall, the results show that while individual differences between humans are important, there are striking regularities in the population’s notions of distance and direction in the space. The paper concentrates primarily on the formal foundations of commonsense notions of proximity and direction, but also identifies links to more applied domains, such as mobile and location-aware navigation systems.
Keywordsqualitative spatial reasoning; vagueness; granularity; near; left
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