Selecting a Representation for Spatial Vagueness: A Decision Making Approach

  • Mohammed I. HumayunEmail author
  • Angela Schwering
Part of the Lecture Notes in Geoinformation and Cartography book series (LNGC)


Representing vague places is a challenge in information systems. There are several approaches, each differing in aspects such as the underlying assumptions they make about space, their data models and reasoning abilities. Despite this there is no general solution and the question of which method to select is a matter of fitness for purpose. So far no methodology exists to support choosing the appropriate representation for a given problem. A formal decision making approach is presented here to select a suitable modelling technique to represent vague places. To do this, the criteria on the basis of which the decision is made are derived first. Commonly used methods to model spatial vagueness and uncertainty are then analyzed on the basis of these criteria. Finally, we describe a methodology that uses the analytic hierarchy process, in order to provide a quantitative ranking of candidate methods in their order of suitability for an application scenario.



This research is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) as part of the International Research Training Group on Semantic Integration of Geospatial Information (IRTG-SIGI, GRK 1498).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for GeoinformaticsUniversity of MuensterMünsterGermany

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