On the Consistency of Cardinal Directions Constraints

S. Skiadopoulos and M. Koubarakis
In Artificial Intelligence, 163(1):91--135, 2005

We present a formal model for qualitative spatial reasoning with cardinal directions utilizing a co-ordinate system. Then, we study the problem of checking the consistency of a set of cardinal direction constraints. We introduce the first algorithm for this problem, prove its correctness and analyze its computational complexity. Using the above algorithm, we prove that the consistency checking of a set of basic (i.e., non-disjunctive) cardinal direction constraints can be performed in O(n^5) time. We also show that the consistency checking of a set of unrestricted (i.e., disjunctive and non-disjunctive) cardinal direction constraints is NP-complete. Finally, we briefly discuss an extension to the basic model and outline an algorithm for the consistency checking problem of this extension.

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