Qualitative Spatial Logics for Buffered Geometries

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Abstract

This paper describes a series of new qualitative spatial logics for checking consistency of sameAs and partOf matches between spatial objects from different geospatial datasets, especially from crowd-sourced datasets. Since geometries in crowd-sourced data are usually not very accurate or precise, we buffer geometries by a margin of error or a level of tolerance, and define spatial relations for buffered geometries. The spatial logics formalize the notions of `buffered equal' (intuitively corresponding to `possibly sameAs'), `buffered part of' (`possibly partOf'), `near' (`possibly connected') and `far' (`definitely disconnected'). A sound and complete axiomatisation of each logic is provided with respect to models based on metric spaces. For each of the logics, the satisfiability problem is shown to be NP-complete. Finally, we briefly describe how the logics are used in a system for generating and debugging matches between spatial objects, and report positive experimental evaluation results for the system.

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