AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Effects of Representation on Solving Complex Spatial-Temporal Problems
Baylor Wetzel

Last modified: 2012-07-14


We present a study of how humans represent space when solving Tower Defense puzzles, a complex spatial reasoning task requiring the subject to protect locations by arranging a set of defense towers at strategic positions. We have discovered that the representation humans use is significantly more complex than what is needed to describe the spatial situation. Strategy and spatial representations are tightly intertwined with spatial representations forgoing objective, atomically-defined spatial features for context-sensitive, goal-oriented spatial affordances. Spatial relationships exist not only between objects but between an object’s properties, second-order properties, joint spatial properties and temporal properties.


spatial-temporal reasoning; tower defense games; spatial affordances

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