CESIP 2015
Cognitive engineering for spatial information processes:
From user interfaces to model-driven design

at the Conference on Spatial Information Theory XII (COSIT 2015)

October 12, 2015

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.

Workshop Description and Scope

Spatial information technology penetrates all areas of personal human life, from scheduling our jobs in space and over time, learning about places on the Web, and optimization of our leisure activities, to sharing our personal activities (e.g., bicycle rides) over social media. However, the design of the underlying information tools is still largely determined by the opportunities and boundaries of current technology, not by the human problems these tools are supposed to solve. For example, design languages that are good for implementation and encoding should incorporate design patterns based on cognitive design principles that reflect how humans actually solve tasks.

This lack of cognitive design principles results in a number of drawbacks:

  1. First, cognitive issues enter the stage only in the final design of a display or user interface, or even worse, only after usability studies have revealed that a tool is effectively not usable. In the past, research has focused on designing cognitive interfaces of tools, not on designing tools based on human cognitive principles, or on designing the whole system of human, machine and environment.
  2. Second, since the purposes as well as the conceptualization of information are not reflected in the design process, the results of the design cannot reflect them either. People who want to use a tool or a piece of information need to do reverse engineering, i.e., figure out what the designer had in mind based on the format of a tool or of data.
  3. Third, rather than computers adapting to the intentions, ideas, competencies and strengths of humans, humans are still largely adapting to the intentions, reasoning strategies and constraints implied by computing technology. This is particularly critical since computation is becoming more and more ubiquitous. As a consequence, computing power seldom supports people in developing their own problem solving competencies and too often distracts them with problems that occur only because of a particular computing technology.

Spatial information technology provides good examples for these problems: Spatial referencing in GIS technology is based on geographic coordinates, even though humans refer to space in terms of other kinds of coordinate systems. This creates the recurring problem of insufficient translation between human spatial concepts, such as places, and GIS. Furthermore, navigation systems do not support people in developing their own spatial competencies but rather substitute and (ultimately) remove these competencies. In analogy, spatial analysis tools do not support people in thinking and learning about a spatial phenomenon of interest but rather make their understanding obsolete as a result of computational standard solutions such as machine learning. As a consequence, people rely on data sources, formats and analysis tools because they are well known, not because they are meaningful for the analysis task. Finally, personal mobile assistance applications do not help people in integrating their diverse goals with spatiotemporal opportunities and daily necessities. They rather make them behave according to goals preset by developers. Thus, even though current technology is often more efficient than the corresponding human cognitive competencies, it is much too often an ineffective substitute, missing the context and subtleties involved in human cognition and communication.

While cognitive engineering and cognitive research has been playing a large role in the COSIT research community so far, people have focused primarily on abstract information formalisms, on basic research in spatial cognition, or on the design of particular kinds of user interfaces. The future challenge lies in principled design, i.e., in making cognitive research enter the whole design process of spatial information tools, including the application of suitable cognitive models to system architectures, conceptual schemas, programming languages, computing, and data analysis strategies.

This workshop investigates how current insights and models about human spatial cognitive processes can help in principled design of spatial information technology. The workshop in particular aims at closing the gap between empirical research conducted in the COSIT community and technology design strategies used in GIS development. It investigates how tools can support people in pursuing the following human information tasks:

Topics of interest

Topics of interest for the workshop include but are not limited to:

Workshop Format, Submissions, and Proceedings

Prospective authors should submit short papers between 5-6 pages in length following the Springer LNCS formatting style (see LNCS style templates). Note that papers not adhering to the style guidelines or the page limits will be rejected without review. Papers may describe preliminary results or work in progress, and can be position statements or vision papers. Manuscripts will be reviewed by at least two members of the program committee. At least one author of each accepted paper must be present at the workshop for oral presentation.

Following short presentations of the accepted submissions, we will have group work and a panel discussion about model-driven design and cognitive design principles. It is planned that workshop proceedings are published with CEUR-WS.org. Based on the results of the workshop, we plan to organize an open-call journal special issue.

The call for submissions is closed!

Important Dates

Submission due: July 5 July 26, 2015

Acceptance Notification: August 15 August 31, 2015

Camera-ready Copies: September 26, 2015

Workshop date: October 12, 2015


Notes taken during the workshop

09:00-9:25 Welcome and Introduction

9:25-10:15 Session 1: Spatial cognitive engineering

Are We There Yet? Spatial Cognitive Engineering for Situated Human-Computer Interaction
Kai-Florian Richter, Martin Tomko and Arzu Coltekin

Spatial Knowledge Acquisition from Addresses
Farid Karimipour, Negar Alinaghi and Paul Weiser

10:15-10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-12:00 Session 2: Place computation

Where am I?/Onde Estou? Automated Interpretation of Human Language Descriptions of Current Location
Kristin Stock and Luciene Delazari

Harvesting large corpora for generating place graphs
Junchul Kim, Maria Vasardani and Stephan Winter

Mining Human-Place Interaction Patterns from Location-Based Social Networks to Enrich Place Categorization Systems
Yingjie Hu, Grant McKenzie, Krzysztof Janowicz and Song Gao

12:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:15 Keynote (45 min) w. disc. (30 min): Cognitive principles for spatial information processing (prel.)
Christian Freksa (University of Bremen)

15:15-15:45 Coffee Break

15:45-17:00 Interactive session


Programme Committee


Please feel free to contact the organizers for further questions at sscheider @ ethz. ch.