SemWay - Semantic Way Semantics for Navigation Systems (SemWay)

  2007-01-08 - 2010-06-30

The main goal of SemWay is to develop a methodology and models giving answers to the question how the process of human wayfinding can be supported by semantically enriched navigation systems in order to provide a meaningful interaction between wayfinders and the surrounding spatial environment. In order to reach this goal three main research questions have to be answered: 1. Formally structure human wayfinding tasks The first question aims at describing how the goal-directed process of human wayfinding in well-defined situations can be structured and formally described. Previous research in the area of human wayfinding, human spatial cognition and human visual perception can provide a basis for finding answers to this question. The result will be a model allowing to formally describe human wayfinding tasks and their correlation to spatial objects in the surrounding environment of wayfinders. 2. Semantic description of ways The second question focuses on the semantic description of wayfinding tasks as well as relevant spatial objects identified in answering the first question. The research question is how these spatial objects can be semantically described in order to associate knowledge with these objects. The association of common-sense spatial knowledge as well as target-group specific knowledge with the wayfinding-relevant spatial objects is a key requirement in order to allow a meaningful interaction between wayfinders and the environment. For the semantic description of knowledge correlated to spatial objects we build on prior research in the field of cognitive science, especially addressing conceptualisations of space as well as ontology building. 3. Semantically enriched navigation system The third question bridges the gap between the formal models developed in answering the first two questions and the actual support which can be given by a semantically enriched navigation system. The question is how navigation systems can make use of semantically rich descriptions of the surrounding environment in order to provide meaningful route instructions for wayfinders. This correlates with the question of how navigation systems can adapt to the purpose, preferences and pre-spatial-knowledge of specific target groups as well as individual humans. It is expected that finding answers to these three key research questions in SemWay will change navigation systems radically. It will change the underlying data models, data acquisition, the generation of wayfinding instructions and the communication of spatial knowledge in order to assist humans in wayfinding tasks. A proof-of-concept prototype will give evidence that semantically enriched navigation systems considering concepts of human spatial cognition allow a meaningful interaction between wayfinders and the environment and thus optimise human wayfinding processes effectively.

Project manager Project members Financiers
  •   Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (FFG)