Faculty of Information Systems and Applied Computer Sciences

Smart Environments

Prof. Dr. Diedrich Wolter

Juniorprofessor für Angewandte Informatik, insbesondere Smart Environments 

emailclick to mail
phone++49 (0)951 863 2897
consultation hourby appointment
visitingOtto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
An der Weberei 5 (ERBA)
Room 03.040
96045 Bamberg
postal addressOtto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
WIAI/Smart Environments
96045 Bamberg


My research can be characterized by two sub-areas of Artificial Intelligence, namely knowledge representations and cognitive agents. I investigate representations that allow cognitive agents, assistance systems, or software agents to represent their environment and to reason about it. Dealing with coarse, uncertain, and even conflicting knowledge is of key interest to me. I take a broad interpretation of the term reasoning to encompass all rational tasks required by a cognitive agent, in particular planning and recognition of context, actions, and events as well as learning and deduction. I am developing the spatial reasoning toolbox SparQ and I am likewise interested in beautiful theories and efficient algorithms. So far, I have contributed to these research areas:

  • Qualitative spatial and temporal reasoning
  • Knowledge representation, symbolic reasoning
  • AI robotics, mobile robot localization, mapping, and navigation
  • Semantics of natural language, referring expression generation
  • Shape retrieval in computer vision

Recent Research Activities 

  • Frequent reviewer for Artificial Intelligence, Spatial Cognition and Computation, and other journals
  • Co-Organizer for KI 2015 Workshop Qualitative spatial and temporal reasoning: computational complexity and algorithms
  • PC member for COSIT 2015
  • Co-Organizer for AAAI 2014 spring symposium Qualitative Representations for Robots
  • PC member for KR 2014, Spatial Cognition 2014
  • Tutorial on qualitative spatial reasoning @ COSIT 2013
  • PC member of COSIT 2013, KI 2013, QR Symposium 2013
  • PC member of KR 2012, IJCAI 2012, KI 2012


Please consult UniVIS as well as these web pages for courses related to smart environments and have a look at the suggested topics for theses (webpages in German).


Please consult my complete list of publications. If you find interest in a paper you cannot access, please don't hesitate contacting me! There is also a public Google scholar bibliography of mine as well as bibliography on ResearchGate, neither of which receiving much care. 

Selected publications

  • Vivien Mast and Diedrich Wolter (2013). A Probabilistic Framework for Object Descriptions in Indoor Route Instructions, Proceedings of the International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2013), pp. 185–204, LNCS Vol. 8116, Springer
    Very simple model but excellent performance—this is my first paper addressing natural language semantics

  • Diedrich Wolter and Jan Oliver Wallgrün (2012). Qualitative spatial reasoning for applications: new challenges and the SparQ toolbox (authors' pre-final version), in Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Representation and Reasoning: Trends and Future Directions, Shyamanta M. Hazarika (Editor), IGI Global, Hershey (PA), USA
    Developing systems like SparQ is a whole lot of (unpublished) work, but I think it is worth the effort to disseminate results and to link basic research with applications.

  • Diedrich Wolter and Jae Hee Lee (2010). Qualitative reasoning with directional relations, Artificial Intelligence, 174:18, pp. 1498–1507
    Qualitative spatial reasoning can be way harder than expected! Considered by Bernhard Nebel to be the most surprising result of the 2nd funding phase of the spatial cognition research center SFB/TR 8.

  • Diedrich Wolter (2008). Spatial representation and reasoning for robot mapping—a shape-based approach, Vol. 48 of Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, ISBN 978-3-540-69011-5, Springer
    Holding your PhD thesis in your hands is always a good feeling...

  • Reinhard Moratz, Jochen Renz, and Diedrich Wolter (2000). Qualitative spatial reasoning about line segments, ECAI 2000—Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Intelligence, W. Horn (editors), pp. 234–238, Berlin
    My first paper, 100+ citations so far and still growing strong...