CogQDA seminar

Cognitive Qualitative Descriptions and Applications (CogQDA)

Winter 2016/17

Universität Bremen

Tuesday 16:00 - 18:00h, Cartesium Room 1.41 (1st floor)
2 SWS (ECTS: 4)

Modul number ME-711.36

Level: Master Degree (Computer Science or Digital Media)

Profil: KIKR and DMI

Language: English

Dr.-Ing. Zoe Falomir Llansola

Cartesium Building, Office 3.54 (3rd floor)


Office hours: Wednesday 15.00h – 17.00 h


This seminar provides an introduction to Qualitative Descriptions and Reasoning from a Cognitive point of view. It is divided into 2 learning modules and 1 working module. The topic of each module is introduced as follows:

Module I: If you were a robot, you would see the world pixelized through your camera. How would you explain to a human being what do you see? What concepts could you use for the human to understand you? How can you compare them?

Module II: Psychological studies proved that people with good spatial cognition skills, are successful in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math). Other studies say that we humans can train these spatial skills. Therefore:

  • How do we measure our spatial cognition skills? How do we improve them? Can we build systems that help us to improve them?
  • Can a robot have spatial cognition skills? What logical thinking must the robot have?

Module III: From all the contents, what is the most interesting topic for you? Which one would you like to explore/learn/research more? How? Theoretically or practically? Let's explore it together. What have you learned? What can you teach us?


The following table presents the content of the course and a tentative schedule.







18 Oct




25 Oct

Qualitative Shape Description and Similarity applied to Mosaic building and sketch recognition


1 Nov

Qualitative Colour Naming and Comparing applied to Art


8 Nov

Qualitative Descriptions of Images.


15 Nov

Qualitative Descriptions of Movement



22 Nov

Qualitative Descriptions of 3D Point Clouds 


29 Nov

Spatial Cognition and Perceptual Ability tests 

Qualitative 3D Model based on Depth


6 Dec

Qualitative Model for Paper Folding



13 Dec

Selection of Content to Explore: Theoretically? Practically?


20 Dec

Student Lab Work


10 Jan

Student Lab Work


17 Jan

Student Lab Work


24 Jan

Student Lab Work



31 Jan

Final Discussion: What can you teach/show us?

Material provided: Slides of the talks, bibliography, and support in the theoretical or practical work.


1.     Understanding what is a Qualitative Representation, a Qualitative Model, and what Qualitative Spatial Reasoning involves.
2.     Knowing the fundamentals on spatial cognition & education: skill training and evaluation.
3.     Practising how to do an effective oral presentation and how to write a good essay.
4.     Improving English language skills.

Assessment and Final Evaluation

Here you have a few notes on grading and other formal aspects of the course. To receive credits for the course you will need to continually participate throughout the semester; this includes:

  • to attend the classes,
  • to do a theoretical work (i.e. present a paper, topic review, model, etc.) or a practical work (i.e. programming a little application).
  • to present the chosen work,
  • to write a report on the chosen work.

Attendance to the classes will account for 20%.

Presentations should be well-prepared, well-informed, and above all serve to help your classmates understand the facts and issues connected with the topic in the paper(s)/application. It should enable your classmates to ask interesting questions about it. Ideally, plan on a 20-30 min duration for your presentation and a subsequent discussion. Presentations will be evaluated using voting by classmates and they will account for 40% of your overall grade.

The final report will count for 40% of your overall grade. Please email your report to: by 28 February 2017 the latest.

Please note that any form of plagiarism or failure to submit the term paper by the specified date will result in automatic failure of the course.



Falomir, Z. (2015). Teaching spatial thinking, computer vision, and qualitative reasoning methods. In H. Burte, T. Kauppinen, & M. Hegarty (Eds.), Proceedings of the Workshop on Teaching Spatial Thinking from Interdisciplinary Perspectives (TSTIP 2015) with Confernce on Spatial Information Theory XII (COSIT 2015). Santa Fe, NM: CEUR Proceedings Vol. 1557, pp. 11-15.

Module I

Falomir Z., Museros L., Gonzalez-Abril L. (2015), A Model for Colour Naming and Comparing based on Conceptual Neighbourhood. An Application for Comparing Art Compositions, Knowledge-Based Systems, 81: 1-21. DOI:

Museros L., Falomir Z., Sanz I., Gonzalez-Abril L. (2015), Sketch Retrieval based on Qualitative Shape Similarity Matching: Towards a Tool for Teaching Geometry to Children, AI Communications, 28 (1): 73—86. DOI:

Falomir Z., Gonzalez-Abril L., Museros L., Ortega J. (2013), Measures of Similarity between Objects from a Qualitative Shape Description, Spatial Cognition and Computation, 13 (3): 181–218. DOI:

Falomir Z., Museros L., Gonzalez-Abril L., Velasco F. (2013), Measures of Similarity between Qualitative Descriptions of Shape, Colour and Size Applied to Mosaic Assembling, J. Vis. Commun. Image R. 24 (3): 388–396. DOI:

Falomir Z., Olteteanu A. (2015), Logics based and Qualitative Descriptors for Scene Understanding, Neurocomputing, 161: 3-16, SI: Recognition and Action for Scene Understanding, DOI:

Module II

N. Newcombe, Picture this: Increasing math and science learning by improving spatial thinking, American Educator, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 29–35, 2010.

S. A. Sorby, Educational research in developing 3D spatial skills for engineering students, International Journal of Science Education 31 (3) (2009) 459–480. doi:10.1080/09500690802595839.

Z. Falomir and E. Oliver (2016), Towards testing a Qualitative Descriptor of 3D Objects using a Computer Game Prototype, International Workshop on Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition (, Delmenhorst, Germany, 3-4 March 2016.

Z. Falomir and E. Oliver (2016), Q3D-Game: A Tool for Training User's 3D Spatial Skills, Symposium on Future Intelligent Educational Environments and Learning, SOFIEE (, London, UK, 12-13 September 2016, in press.

Z. Falomir (2016). Towards a qualitative descriptor for paper folding reasoning. Proceedings of the 29th International Workshop on Qualitative Reasoning, co-located at Int. Joint Conf. on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI), New York, USA.