A Condensed Semantics for Qualitative Spatial Reasoning About Oriented Straight Line Segments

, , and . Artificial Intelligence Journal (2011)


More than 15 years ago, a set of qualitative spatial relations between oriented straight line segments (dipoles) was suggested by Schlieder. However, it turned out to be difficult to establish a sound constraint calculus based on these relations. In this paper, we present the results of a new investigation into dipole constraint calculi which uses algebraic methods to derive sound results on the composition of relations of dipole calculi. This new method, which we call condensed semantics, is based on an abstract symbolic model of a specific fragment of our domain. It is based on the fact that qualitative dipole relations are invariant under orientation preserving affine transformations. The dipole calculi allow for a straightforward representation of prototypical reasoning tasks for spatial agents. As an example, we show how to generate survey knowledge from local observations in a street network. The example illustrates the fast constraint-based reasoning capabilities of dipole calculi. We integrate our results into two reasoning tools which are publicly available.

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