Applied Intelligence

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 49–58 | Cite as

Qualitative spatial reasoning using orientation, distance, and path knowledge

  • Kai Zimmermann
  • Christian Freksa


We give an overview of an approach to qualitative spatial reasoning based on directional orientation information as available through perception processes or natural language descriptions. Qualitative orientations in 2-dimensional space are given by the relation between a point and a vector. The paper presents our basic iconic notation for spatial orientation relations that exploits the structure of the spatial domain and explores a variety of ways in which these relations can be manipulated and combined for spatial reasoning. Using this notation, we explore a method for exploiting interactions between space and movement in this space for enhancing the inferential power. Finally, the orientation-based approach is augmented by distance information, which can be mapped into position constraints and vice versa.


qualitative reasoning spatial reasoning constraint propagation 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Zimmermann
    • 1
  • Christian Freksa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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