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Workshop 2: Cognitive Models of Human Spatial Reasoning

Cognitive Models in Human Spatial Reasonin

Cognitive Models OF Human Spatial Reasoning

Workshop Description

The ability to process spatial information is crucial for various tasks as diverse as navigation, planning, and managing abstract concepts. Accordingly, considerable effort has been spent in recent years on understanding how spatial cognition is realized in the human mind. Much of that effort, however, has been experimental, putting little stress on precise (computational) models of the involved representations and processes. As a result, detailed accounts of human spatial reasoning are currently only scarcely available. This seems to be a serious deficiency, since explicit computational accounts of human spatial reasoning allow a deeper and more precise exploration of human mental activities than experimental investigation alone. Moreover, such computational models seem to be the silver bullet to improve human-machine interaction in the domain of spatial tasks. Finally, such formalizations for representing and reasoning about space would allow to transform and adapt techniques developed in Artificial Intelligence (AI) spanning from the field of qualitative reasoning to connectionist modeling. This research line seems a promising source for future improvements in cognitive modeling.

Consequently, the objective of the workshop is to discuss different approaches to modeling mental spatial information processing for human spatial reasoning.

Goals of the Workshop

The workshop aims at presenting and discussing new approaches to spatial modeling both from a cognitive and a formal (or computational) point of view. Questions to be considered in talks and discussions include, but are not limited to:

  • Which role play different subsystems of the working memory in human spatial reasoning?
  • How can specific cognitive reasoning processes be formalized?
  • How is it decided which spatial representations to construct?
  • Can different spatial representations be combined?
  • How is processing that makes use of spatial representations controlled?
  • Which empirical findings supports which implementational designs?
  • Models related to human-machine interaction in spatial information systems
  • Computational models of cognitive reasoning processes and their implementation
  • What are efficient ways to realize control in spatial knowledge processing?

The goal of this workshop is to enable new research by bringing together researchers of all from AI and cognitive science. Since there is considerable correspondence of AI and cognitive science research regarding cognitive modeling an assembling from both scientific communities will stimulate the emergence of new solutions.

Target audience

The workshop is intended for researchers working in the field of spatial cognition. The focus of the workshop is to enable the discussion on new cognitive models and systems (of human working memory) for spatial reasoning. For the workshop a certain familiarity with cognitive theories (about spatial reasoning) is useful but not necessary.

Submission Information

Please email submissions of 4-6 pages (in Springer LNCS format as PDF) to ragni [at] Submissions can be position statements, work in progress, or completed work.

  • workshop submissions:
  • Jun 1st, 2008
  • notification of acceptance:
  • Jun 21st, 2008
  • camera-ready copies of contributions:
  • July 5th, 2008

    Accepted papers will be given 20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for discussion at the workshop.


    Organizing Committee

    Marco Ragni
    Universität Freiburg
    Freiburg, Germany
    ragni [at]

    Holger Schultheis
    Universität Bremen
    Bremen, Germany
    schulth [at]

    Thomas Barkowsky
    Universität Bremen
    Bremen, Germany
    barkowsky [at]

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