Perceptions of Qualitative Spatial Arrangements of Three Objects

Authors Ningran Xu, Ivan Majic , Martin Tomko

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Author Details

Ningran Xu
  • Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
Ivan Majic
  • Institute of Geodesy, RG Geoinformation, TU Graz, Austria
Martin Tomko
  • Department of Infrastructure Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia


We acknowledge the assistance of Xiaolin Zhang with the design of the back-end data structure for the survey and Yan Zhang and Maggie Zhuang for testing the survey before the main data collection.

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Ningran Xu, Ivan Majic, and Martin Tomko. Perceptions of Qualitative Spatial Arrangements of Three Objects. In 15th International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2022). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 240, pp. 9:1-9:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2022)


Cognitive grounding of formal models of qualitative spatial relations is important to bridge between spatial data and human perceptions of spatial arrangements. Here, we report on an experimental verification of the cognitive alignment of the recently proposed Ray Intersection Model (RIM) capturing qualitative relationships between three spatial objects, and human perceptions of spatial arrangements through a grouping task. Further, we explore arrangements with an object positioned "between" two other objects. We show that RIM has sufficient expressive power and aligns well with human perceptions of ternary spatial relationships.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Information systems → Geographic information systems
  • Human-centered computing → User studies
  • Spatial Perception
  • Qualitative Spatial Relationships
  • Betweenness
  • Evaluation
  • Ternary Relationships


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