I am a computer scientist by training (specializing in AI and knowledge representation) who has worked in CS, information science, geomatic engineering, and geography. My work is and has always been interdisciplinary. It is firmly located at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Spatial Cognition, and (Geo-)Spatial Information Science. Accordingly, interests are broad and publications seem diverse, but they (more or less) all address questions of exploiting properties/characteristics of environments in decision making, identification (processes) of relevant information, and adaptation (processes) in interaction.

My major research interest is in the interplay between human behavior, computational assistance, and the environment this interaction occurs in. I approach these questions through implementing cognitive principles in assistance services, following what others and I call a Spatial Cognitive Engineering approach.

Spatial cognitive engineering addresses issues of how people perceive, conceptualize and communicate about space and how these findings can be exploited in computational systems to improve assistance in decision making scenarios. In particular, I focus on understanding, representing, and modeling an environment’s structure and complexity; geographic relevance, especially the automatic selection of relevant information and development of relevance measures; and adaptation processes in human-computer interaction. Major scenarios include navigation and spatial communication more generally. A particular interest has been in the role landmarks can play in bridging between human and machine.

My research has two major aims: 1) closing the gap between human and computer in interacting in and/or about space; 2) escaping the trap of becoming dependent on the services. This dependency emerges from a degeneration of (cognitive) abilities when using such services (an effect attached to any form of automation).

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