3rd International Workshop on Spatial Cognition & Artificial Intelligence

Workshop as part of GIScience 2021; 27. September 2021, online

The 3rd International Workshop on Spatial Cognition and Artificial Intelligence (SC&AI) is organized by the Artificial Intelligence & Cognitive Science Working Group of TC12, the IFIP Technical Committee on Artificial Intelligence, and open to anybody interested in the topic. The working group, and consequently this workshop, is born from the re-emerged need in today’s era of deep learning and ‘black box’ AI appearing in spatial agents (e.g., self-driving vehicles, smart cities, interactive location-based services) to bring together members of the international scientific community who work on both theoretical as well as applied overlapping research areas of the two fields. 


Smart environments (such as smart cities, also in combination with self-driving vehicles) are often said to promise an improved quality of life, both collectively and for the individual. Based on a rich set of (sensor) data measuring all kinds of aspects of life, smart environments offer various automated decision support and guidance for both those operating an environment and those living or working in it.

However, there is a range of important issues regarding the ‘interaction’ of environment and people that need to be addressed. This workshop will focus on those that concern ‘understandability’ of such smart environments. Questions of interest include, but are not restricted to:

  • How to identify from all the data those that are relevant for a given task/situation?
  • How to present this information? To those operating the environment, to those being there, and individually or collectively (i.e., to the different stakeholders)? 
  • How to explain the presented information? To the different stakeholders? 
  • How to explain decisions made by the systems, and the processes leading to these decisions?
  • How to include people in the systems’ decision making (‘human-in-the-loop’)? 
    How to ensure (or allow for) people making their own decisions (‘human autonomy’)?

The 3rd SC&AI Workshop will bring together researchers from different disciplines to work on cognitively inspired spatial artificial systems. 


This (about) half-day workshop will offer a highly interactive setting. Participants will discuss in small multi-disciplinary groups during several topic blocks that will structure the workshop day; each such block will be introduced by short oral presentations (see below). We target (sketches of) innovative solutions and/or relevant research questions and approaches, which can then be pursued further, as outcomes of these discussions. We further aim for participants learning from each other, and identifying common interests and complimentary knowledge and skills for potential future joint work.

Expressions of Interest

Participants are requested to send a short expression of interest (max. 2 pages) by email to the workshop organizers, no later than the submission deadline. In these EoIs, participants are asked to briefly outline their background and then discuss why they are interested in participating in the workshop and how they believe they might contribute. Selected EoIs will be chosen for short oral presentations at the workshop.

We consider running a second (shorter) session of the workshop in the (European) afternoon (see below). If this works better for you, please let us know.

Workshop participants need to register at the main conference website giscience.org.

Important dates

Monday, Jul 19

Monday Aug 9

Monday, Sep 27

deadline for expressions of interest
(notification about receipt and workshop participation will follow a few days later)

notification about presentation

workshop day

Workshop program

A detailed program will be published closer to the workshop day. The preliminary program is as follows.
All times in CEST: begin 8.45 CEST (Berlin); 6.45 UTC; 23.45 (26th) Los Angeles; 2.45 New York; 7.45 London; 10.15 Tehran; 14.45 Bejing; 15.45 Tokyo; 16.45 Melbourne.

Depending on interest, we consider running a shorter second session of the workshop in the afternoon (e.g., 14.30 CEST; 5.30 Los Angeles; 8.30 New York; 13.30 London); likely without (live) keynotes. Please let us know if this works better for you.

8.45 Berlin













Richard Olsson, Properties and Facilities Director, Umeå University
Managing a Smart Campus


1st topic block: Inferences & Decision Making

short presentations: Markus Kattenbeck (TU Vienna), Hoda Allahbakhshi (UZH)

group work


2nd topic block: (Re)Presentation & Explanation

short presentations: Merve Keskin (MML),
Irma Kveladze (Aalborg University)

group work

wrapping up

workshop end


Maria Vasardani – https://www.rmit.edu.au/contact/staff-contacts/academic-staff/v/vasardani-dr-maria

Kai-Florian Richter – https://www.umu.se/en/staff/kai-florian-richter/