A Causal Perspective to Qualitative Spatial Reasoning in the Situation Calculus

Mehul BhattJ. Wenny RahayuGerald Sterling

We propose the utilisation of a general formalism to reason about action & change for reasoning about the dynamic purpose-directed aspects of spatial change. Such an approach is necessary toward the general integration of qualitative spatial reasoning with reasoning about the teleological aspects of spatial change. With this as the overall context, the main contribution of this paper is to illustrate first ideas relevant to providing a causal perspective to qualitative spatial reasoning using the situation calculus. With minimal notions about space & spatial dynamics, we perform a naive characterisation of objects based on their physical properties and investigate the key representational aspects of a topological theory of space, namely the region connection calculus, in the situation calculus. Further, ontological distinctions are made between various occurrents, i.e., actions and internal & external events, and a domain level characterisation of spatial occurrents in terms of their spatial pre-conditions & effects is performed so as to provide a causal perspective to spatial reasoning.

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