A Framework for Utilizing Qualitative Spatial Relations between Networked Embedded Systems

Clemens Holzmann, Alois Ferscha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


With more and more everyday artifacts being equipped with networked embedded systems technology, their spatial situation or contextsuch as where they are located or whether two of them are near or far apart from each otheris becoming increasingly relevant. The emerging availability of sensor technologies for measuring properties of the physical space enables them to become aware of their spatial context and adapt to changes accordingly, which in turn contributes to the implementation of systems that operate autonomously in the background and interact with humans in a more unobtrusive way. In this article, we specifically address the use of spatial relations between technology-rich artifacts as well as their changes over time. A key aspect is the abstraction of spatial contexts in order to separate details which are not relevant for a certain application, and thereby save computational resources or provide spatial information in a way that is closer to human concepts of space. In this regard, our focus is on qualitatively represented spatial relations, which are used as the basic building blocks for the development of spatially aware applications. A novel software framework is presented for this purpose and evaluated with respect to its performance as well as its adequacy for building real-world applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-381
Number of pages20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Context awareness
  • Qualitative representation
  • Rule-based reasoning
  • Spatial and temporal relations
  • Spontaneous interaction


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