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Defensive wayfinding: incongruent information in route following


Tomko, Martin; Richter, Kai-Florian (2015). Defensive wayfinding: incongruent information in route following. In: Fabrikant, Sara I; Raubal, Martin; Bertolotto, Michela; Davies, Clare; Freundschuh, Scott; Bell, Scott. Spatial Information Theory : 12th International Conference, COSIT 2015, Santa Fe, NM, USA, October 12-16, 2015, Proceedings. Cham: Springer, 426-446.

Abstract

Extensive research has focused on what constitutes good route directions, identifying qualities such as the logical sequential ordering, the inclusion of landmarks, and ergonomic ways of referring to turns as critical to delivering cognitively adequate instructions. In many cases, however, people are not actually provided with route directions adhering to these qualities. Yet, often people are still able to successfully navigate to the planned destinations, despite poor or even erroneous direction giving. In this paper, we introduce the concept of defensive wayfinding as the particular type of problem solving people undertake when presented with route directions incongruent with their experience of the environment. We present a systematic investigation of the incompatibilities that may occur between route descriptions and the environment. We note that the content of route directions is produced by the direction giver based on observations of the environment. We develop a classification of the impacts of uncertainty in these observations based on the theory of measurement scales of Stevens [33]. We then relate uncertainty to its impact on route following and the ability of the wayfinder to detect problems during wayfinding. We conclude with a discussion of the impacts of common-sense expectations on the need to engage in defensive wayfinding.

Abstract

Extensive research has focused on what constitutes good route directions, identifying qualities such as the logical sequential ordering, the inclusion of landmarks, and ergonomic ways of referring to turns as critical to delivering cognitively adequate instructions. In many cases, however, people are not actually provided with route directions adhering to these qualities. Yet, often people are still able to successfully navigate to the planned destinations, despite poor or even erroneous direction giving. In this paper, we introduce the concept of defensive wayfinding as the particular type of problem solving people undertake when presented with route directions incongruent with their experience of the environment. We present a systematic investigation of the incompatibilities that may occur between route descriptions and the environment. We note that the content of route directions is produced by the direction giver based on observations of the environment. We develop a classification of the impacts of uncertainty in these observations based on the theory of measurement scales of Stevens [33]. We then relate uncertainty to its impact on route following and the ability of the wayfinder to detect problems during wayfinding. We conclude with a discussion of the impacts of common-sense expectations on the need to engage in defensive wayfinding.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:20 Jan 2016 19:31
Last Modified:12 Jun 2016 09:35
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:Lecture Notes in Computer Science
Number:9368
ISSN:0302-9743
ISBN:978-3-319-23373-4
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23374-1_20
Related URLs:http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319233734

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