Cognitive agents (specifically humans, animals, and autonomous robots) require abilities to localize themselves in space, to navigate and solve spatial tasks, to communicate about space, and to assist other agents in performing spatial tasks. To this end, cognitive agents employ knowledge about the spatial environment; they require suitable representations of this knowledge as well as approaches to make use of this knowledge for the specific tasks to be performed. In my talk, I will address three areas of research of the Transregional Collaborative Research Center SFB/TR 8 Spatial Cognition (Bremen / Freiburg, Germany):
- the relation between spatial structures in the physical environment and representational structures in mental representations;
- the relation between mental representations and external representations for reasoning, for communicating, and for assisting cognitive agents in understanding spatial situations;
- the relation between spatial environments and their external representations in the light of mental concepts. For these three areas of research, I will describe concepts of qualitative spatial reasoning that we employ in the interaction between the different domains involved in spatial reasoning and spatial communication.
About Christian Freksa
Christian Freksa is a professor of Cognitive Systems at the Department of Informatics at the University of Bremen. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley in Artificial Intelligence in 1981. He carried out postdoctoral research in knowledge representation at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry and at TU Munich, where he build up the AI/cognition group. In 1991 he accepted a professorship for artificial intelligence / cognitive science at the University of Hamburg. In 2002 he moved with his research group to the University of Bremen to start the Transregional Collaborative Research Center on Spatial Cognition for the Universities of Bremen and Freiburg, whose director he is. His research concerns representation and reasoning with incomplete, imprecise, lean, fuzzy, and partially conflicting knowledge. He has been particularly interested in developing 'cognitively adequate' qualitative approaches in the domain of spatial and temporal knowledge. Christian Freksa is an ECCAI Fellow.