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QCIS Seminar: The Power of Space and Time - how spatial and temporal structures can replace computational effort - Prof Christian Freksa, Universität Bremen, Germany

Presented by: Prof Christian Freksa, Universität Bremen, Germany (invited by A/Prof Sanjiang Li)

Abstract: Spatial structures determine the way that we perceive our environment and the way that we act in it in important ways. Spatial structures also determine the ways in which we think about our environment and how we abstractly solve spatial problems. When we use graphics to visualise certain aspects of spatial and non-spatial entities, we exploit the power of spatial structures to better under¬stand important relationships. We also are able to imagine spatial structures and to apply mental operations to them. Similarly, the structure of time determines the course of events in cognitive processing. In my talk I will present knowledge representation research in spatial cognition. I will demonstrate the power of spatial structures in comparison to formal descriptions that are conventionally used for spatial problem solving in computer science. I suggest that spatial and temporal structures can be exploited for the design of powerful ‘spatial computers’. I will show that spatial computers can be particularly suitable and efficient for spatio-temporal problem solving, but may also be used for abstract problem solving in non-spatial domains.

Short bio: Prof Christian Freksa holds the Chair of Cognitive Systems at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the University of Bremen, Germany. His research concerns representation and reasoning with incomplete, imprecise, lean, coarse, approximate, fuzzy, and conflicting knowledge about physical environments. Particular emphasis is on qualitative spatial and temporal reasoning. Freksa received a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from UC Berkeley. He carried out research at the Max Planck Institute and at the Technical University of Munich, at the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, and at the University of Hamburg. In 2002 he initiated the International Spatial Cognition Quality Network and the Spatial Cognition Research Center in Bremen and Freiburg that he has been directing since 2003. Christian Freksa is a Fellow of the European AI society, ECCAI, and served as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).

25 February 2013
11:00 - 12:15
City - Broadway CB10 Level 3, Room 330
All Welcome
Barbara Munday

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