Quantifying space, understanding minds

We have a new paper out in the Journal of Spatial Information Science (JOSIS). In this paper, we present a visual summary approach that allows to easily contrast and compare literature in the multi-disciplinary domain of research comparing (formal) spatial measures with human behavior in space:
Mark Simpson, Kai-Florian Richter, Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Alexander Klippel.  Quantifying space, understanding minds: A visual summary approach.

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An automatic method for scoring the positional likelihood of POIs in OSM

Alireza Kashian’s work on automatically assessing the likelihood that a point of interest (category) will be located at a selected location in a city has been accepted at the ISPRS International Symposium on Spatial Data Quality in Wuhan, China.

The paper presents the general approach and illustrates it using ATMs in Paris as an example; the full title is “Automatic Method for Scoring the Positional Accuracy of POIs in OpenStreetMap” by Alireza Kashian, Abbas Rajabifard, Yiqun Chen, Kai-Florian Richter

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Identifying Landmark Candidates Beyond Toy Examples

My recent paper ‘Identifying Landmark Candidates Beyond Toy Examples‘ to be published in the journal KI – Künstliche Intelligenz has just appeared online. You can read it here. And since it is published as Open Access, you can also happily download it.

By combining in a smart way aspects of different existing approaches, the paper outlines a way forward for more scalable solutions for identifying landmark candidates to be used in  spatial assistance services.

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Postdoc Opportunities at Umeå University (and with me)

Umeå University makes a massive effort on autonomous systems for industry and society of the future, with eight postdoctoral stipends in eight separate subprojects. These stipends are funded by the Kempe Foundation, and will offer funding for a two-year postdoc associated with various groups at our Department of Computing Science.

One such postdoc stipend is within my group, for somebody interested in working on autonomous systems’ ability to understand their limitations, namely their ability to realise that autonomy will not work anymore and some form of collaboration with a human will be required.

For more information see the announcement at the university’s website.
Further details regarding the stipend in my group can be found here.

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SOCRATES

I have the pleasure of being a small part of a new ITN on Social Cognitive Robot Agents in the European Society (SOCRATES), coordinated here in Umeå by Thomas Hellström.

SOCRATES is a training program for 15 PhD students, created to develop the field of Social Robotics with an application focus on Robotics in Eldercare.

We are now hiring said 15 PhD students, to work with different consortium members across Europe (Sweden, Germany, England, Spain, or Israel, to be more precise).

SOCRATES word cloud

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Indoor Wayfinding Tools

Springer just published ‘online-first’ a new Encyclopedia of GIS (edited by Shashi Shekhar, Hui Xiong, and Xun Zhou), covering a large range of topics from 3D to spatial statistics. I contributed an entry on Indoor Wayfinding Tools.

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Moving Up (North)

As of today, I am an Associate Professor (Universitetslektor) at the Department of Computing Science, Umeå University, Sweden.

After very interesting and highly educational (in a strictly positive sense!) years in geography at UZH, I am looking forward to teaching into Umeå’s Cognitive Science program, to exploring computational (device) aspects of spatial knowledge acquisition while using location-based services, and generally to working on cognitive engineering issues of human-computer interaction.

So, Merci vielmal Zurich and hej Umeå!

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Coupling Simulation and Optimization in Evacuation Planning

A tight coupling of simulation and optimization methods in evacuation planning provides a better informed, more realistic picture of what would happen in case of a disaster than any of the two methods would provide on its own.
See how we (aka Heng-Soon Gan, Kai-Florian Richter, Mingzheng Shi, Stephan Winter) have done it in our latest paper  Integration of simulation and optimization for evacuation planning, which has just been published in Simulation Modeling Theory and Practice.

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Spatial Learning and Navigation Services

We have two short papers accepted for GIScience 2016 in Montreal, Canada. Both papers look at how the use of navigation services (negatively) influences the users’ acquisition of spatial knowledge and some conditions under which this detrimental effect may be alleviated. The papers are:
Annina Brügger, Kai-Florian Richter, Sara Irina Fabrikant: Walk and Learn: An Empirical Framework for Assessing Spatial Knowledge Acquisition during Mobile Map Use.
Patrice Frei, Kai-Florian Richter and Sara Irina Fabrikant: Stress Supports Spatial Knowledge Acquisition during Wayfinding with Mobile Maps.

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Anxious? Mental rotation is a challenge? Find out how this interacts.

Our paper “Not all anxious individuals get lost: Trait anxiety and mental rotation ability interact to explain performance in map-based route learning in men” (breathe now) written by John C. Thoresen, Rebecca Francelet, Arzu Coltekin, myself, Sara I. Fabrikant, and Carmen Sandi (breathe again) has just been published in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory. In this paper we show that trait anxiety negatively affects participants with low (but not high) mental rotation ability in a map-based route learning task. The study contributes to a growing body of evidence that individual differences are a major driving force in explaining task performance.

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