29 August 2009

Dimensions of Processes (1) - Time and Temporal Placement

The first dimension I am exploring, concerning a methodical decomposition of process, is the dimension of time and temporal placement of the process within its universe of occurrence.

First, on spatial reasoning, there is an informal introduction to the whole concept on wikipedia, of which the salient point (for automata) is:
Spatial-temporal reasoning is also studied in computer science. It aims at describing the common-sense background knowledge on which our human perspective on the physical reality is based. Methodologically, qualitative constraint calculi restrict the vocabulary of rich mathematical theories dealing with temporal or spatial entities such that specific aspects of these theories can be treated within decidable fragments with simple qualitative (non-metric) languages. Contrary to mathematical or physical theories about space and time, qualitative constraint calculi allow for rather inexpensive reasoning about entities located in space and time. For this reason, the limited expressiveness of qualitative representation formalism calculi is a benefit if such reasoning tasks need to be integrated in applications. For example, some of these calculi may be implemented for handling spatial GIS queries efficiently and some may be used for navigating, and communicating with, a mobile robot.
Much ink has been spilt on this topic in the artificial intelligence community - on temporal relationships and temporal reasoning. In beginning my review in this area, I will take the Elsevier handbook on Temporal Reasoning as my root node, and begin exploring the research of the PhDs whose work is featured there.

First the three editors

Next the contributing authors

Side Topics:

Qualitative Spatial Reasoning using Constraint Calculi by Renz and Nebel

Guido Governatori very interesting series of publications on related topics

Approximate Qualitative Temporal Reasoning by Thomas Bittner

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