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Spatial inference with an interchangeable rule format

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Rule interchange between information systems is expanding as new interoperable rule formats are emerging from research. However, existing spatial inference systems generally operate on locally stored data with an internal rule format. Consequently, their design offers little support or facilities for rule interchange. This article presents the requirements, components and design for a spatial inference system with rule interchange. Computational efficiency and overall functionality of the design are considered separately, with the latter demonstrated using encoded agricultural legislation and data. A spatial inference system with rule interchange is based on three primary components: rule representation, spatial functionality and data integration. Of these, the interoperable rule representation and data integration distinctly differ from existing spatial inference systems. The presented inference system combines a spatial superset of the W3C Rule Interchange Format (RIF) with full Open Geospatial Consortium simple feature access (OGC SFA) functionality and on-demand data integration utilising Resource Deception Framework (RDF). The design was found to be effective with a computational efficiency depending predominantly on the spatial operations. This design could be further adapted to implement spatial extensions for existing inference systems. Considerable benefits were also discovered when RIF was used as the native language for the inference engine, thereby removing the need for rule transformations and facilitating on-demand data integration with the GML.
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Keywords: geographic information systems; interoperability; web GIS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Automation and Systems Technology, Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Aalto, Finland 2: Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Chair of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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