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Qualitative spatial reasoning: theory and practice: application to robot navigation. (English) Zbl 0923.68115
Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications. 47. Amsterdam: IOS Press. xix, 210 p. (1998).
Qualitative Spatial Reasoning (QSR) has been recently developed within the field of Artificial Intelligence. The aim is of QSR is to develop a language for inference engines of intelligent systems. The language should allow to express problems dealing with entities occupying space and to carry out the reasoning searching for solutions of these problems. In the first part of the book a comparative study of the existing approaches in QSR are present. Next the it is developed a representational and reasoning spatial model by integrating the concepts of orientation, distance, cardinal directions, and by using as representational primitives both points and extended objects. Constraint Logic Programming with constraint handling rules is used to define constraint-solver for considered aspects of space. Finally, an application of the introduced formalism for robot navigation in a simulated environment is discussed. In this interesting book there has been made a step towards solving the task formulated by Davis: “finding a language for spatial knowledge that is both expressive and computationally tractable which includes specifications of shapes, positions and motions. It would allow a wide range of partial specifications, corresponding to the types of information that may be obtained from perception, natural language text, or physical inference. No such language has been found.” [E. Davis, Commonsense reasoning, in: Shapiro, E, (ed.), Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence (Wiley, 1987) pp. 1288-1294]. However, much more should be done to obtain reasoning able to solve problems with the efficiency human beings can do.

68T30 Knowledge representation
68T35 Theory of languages and software systems (knowledge-based systems, expert systems, etc.) for artificial intelligence
68T20 Problem solving in the context of artificial intelligence (heuristics, search strategies, etc.)
68-01 Introductory exposition (textbooks, tutorial papers, etc.) pertaining to computer science