Basic Meanings of Spatial Relations: Computation and Evaluation in 3D Space

Klaus-Peter Gapp

Spatial relations play an important role in the research area of connecting visual and verbal space. In the last decade several approaches to semantics and computation of spatial relations in 2D space have been developed. Presented here is a new approach to the computation and evaluation of basic spatial relations’ meanings in 3D space. We propose the use of various kinds of approximations when defining the basic semantics. The vagueness of the applicability of a spatial relation is accounted for by a flexible evaluation component which enables a cognitively plausible continuous gradation. For validating the evolved methods we have integrated them into a workbench. This workbench allows us to investigate the structure of a spatial relation’s applicability region through various visualization methods.


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