Qualitative representation of spatial knowledge in two-dimensional space
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Various relation-based systems, concerned with the qualitative representation and processing of spatial knowledge, have been developed in numerous application domains. In this article, we identify the common concepts underlying qualitative spatial knowledge representation, we compare the representational properties of the different systems, and we outline the computational tasks involved in relation-based spatial information processing. We also describesymbolic spatial indexes, relation-based structures that combine several ideas in spatial knowledge representation. A symbolic spatial index is an array that preserves only a set of spatial relations among distinct objects in an image, called the modeling space; the index array discards information, such as shape and size of objects, and irrelevant spatial relations. The construction of a symbolic spatial index from an input image can be thought of as a transformation that keeps only a set of representative points needed to define the relations of the modeling space. By keeping the relative arrangements of the representative points in symbolic spatial indexes and discarding all other points, we maintain enough information to answer queries regarding the spatial relations of the modeling space without the need to access the initial image or an object database. Symbolic spatial indexes can be used to solve problems involving route planning, composition of spatial relations, and update operations.
Key WordsSpatial data models spatial query languages representation of direction and topological relations qualitative spatial information processing
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