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CogSketch Tutorial

To be held at Spatial Cognition 2012

Kenneth D. Forbus, Andrew Lovett, Jon Wetzel
Qualitative Reasoning Group, Northwestern University

What this tutorial is about: People sketch to work out ideas and to communicate with each other. This makes it a natural window into exploring spatial cognition, and for creating software that works more naturally with people. Sketch understanding software can be used to help model aspects of human cognition, to gather data from human participants in experiments, and in developing new kinds of intelligent software.

CogSketch, a publicly available sketch understanding system, is being developed to support cognitive science research and to serve as a platform for sketch-based educational software. CogSketch incorporates visual processing of digital ink, qualitative spatial representations, analogical matching over integrated spatial and conceptual representations, and a large open-source knowledge base. It has already been used by psychologists and learning scientists for gathering data in laboratory experiments, by cognitive scientists to simulate human visual reasoning, and in classroom experiments in geoscience and engineering.

This half-day tutorial is intended for cognitive science researchers who want to use sketching in their research. Attendees will learn the basics of CogSketch and how it might be used to facilitate their research. This includes a summary of its representations and processing, and the support it provides for laboratory experiments, computational experiments, and building educational software.

You can find out more about CogSketch, and download it, at

Organization: We encourage participants to bring notebook computers with CogSketch already installed, so that you can work through examples, but this will not be a requirement. The topics to be covered will include:

The slides for the tutorial may be found here