Spatial and Temporal Ontology

Inderjeet Mani and James Pustejovsky

in Interpreting Motion

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199601240
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738968 | DOI:

Series: Explorations in Language and Space

Spatial and Temporal Ontology

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Spatial and temporal ontology examines the semantics of static spatial descriptions as found in spatial prepositional phrases in terms of qualitative spatial reasoning. It introduces several calculi including one which treats spatial entities as primitive geometric regions and models their topological relationships in terms of relations based on a primitive notion of connection. The authors discuss the temporal interval calculus, and go on to examine the semantics of orientation in intrinsic, absolute, and relative frames of reference, using specific calculi that represent entities as points, lines, and regions. The chapter discusses both the computational efficiency of reasoning with these different calculi as well as the specific representational problems posed by natural language expressions.

Keywords: absolute frame; cardinal direction calculus; dipole calculus; double cross calculus; frames of reference; interval calculus; intrinsic frame; line‐region calculus; orientation relations; oriented point relational algebra; region connection calculus (RCC); relative frame; topological relations

Chapter.  10451 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psycholinguistics

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