Qualitative spatial representation and reasoning: A hierarchical approach

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Computer Journal, 2007, 50 (4), pp. 391 - 402
Issue Date:
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The ability to reason in space is crucial for agents in order to make informed decisions. Current high-level qualitative approaches to spatial reasoning have serious deficiencies in not reflecting the hierarchical nature of spatial data and human spatial cognition. This article proposes a framework for hierarchical representation and reasoning about topological information, where a continuous model of space is approximated by a collection of discrete sub-models, and spatial information is hierarchically represented in discrete sub-models in a rough set manner. The work is based on the Generalized Region Connection Calculus theory, where continuous and discrete models of space are coped in a unified way. Reasoning issues such as determining the mereological (part-whole) relations between two rough regions are also discussed. Moreover, we consider an important problem that is closely related to map generalization in cartography and Geographical Information Science. Given a spatial configuration at a finer level, we show how to construct a configuration at a coarser level while preserving the mereological relations. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The British Computer Society. All rights reserved.
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