R3-[Q-Shape] - Research

A Toolbox for Qualitative Spatial Reasoning in Applications

SparQ - Spatial Reasoning done Qualitatively

SparQ is a collection of tools for Qualitative Spatial Reasoning in applications released as free software under GNU GPL. The goals of SparQ are

  • providing reference implementations for spatial calculi from the QSR community
  • making specifying and integrating new calculi easy
  • providing typical procedures required to apply QSR in a convenient way
  • offering a uniform interface that allows straighforward switching between calculi
  • being easily integrable into own applications.


SparQ can be run on most POSIX systems such as for example Linux, Mac OS X, or Solaris.


detailed documentation of the recent version of SparQ (V0.7.4) is available in PDF format.


Click here to download sparq-0.7.4.tar.gz

Click here to download a Mac OS X binary release including the SparQ Shell

What's new?

SparQ and QSR tutorial at Cosit

There will be a SparQ-based tutorial at Cosit 2013 in Scarborough, UK. We are working hard to have a brandnew SparQ version ready by end of August - stay tuned!

Pritom Rajkhowa and Abhijit Boruah developed a Java GUI for SparQ interaction which they share; thanks guys!
April 2010

released V0.7.4

  • improved algebraic reasoning module
  • improved support of 64Bit systems
December 2009

released V0.7.3.1 - bugfix release to V0.7.3; concerns only the building process, not the functionality

October 2009

released SparQ Shell for Mac OS X

January 2009

released V0.7.3 - minor improvements and fixes; added variable support

November 2008

released V0.7.2 - bug fix release

January 2008

released V0.7.1

  • New features: ternary composition for ternary calculi, algebraic closure using ternary composition
July, 16th 2007

released V0.7 - major update

  • Major change: calculi-dependent automatic recompiling during runtime to increase speed
  • Major change: calculi-dependent relation representation
  • More precomputation when compiling calculi
  • Improved the general heuristics in a-closure
  • Improved heuristics in backtracking search
  • Introduced algebraic specification
July 2006

released V0.6 - first 'public' release

Related Publications

Frank Dylla, Till Mossakowski, Thomas Schneider, and Diedrich Wolter. Algebraic Properties of Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Calculi, Proceedings of Cosit 2013, to appear; an according arXiv report isavailable online

Jae Hee Lee, Jochen Renz, and Diedrich Wolter. StarVars -- Effective Reasoning about Relative Direction Information, Proceedings of IJCAI 2013, to appear

Diedrich Wolter. Analyzing Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Calculi using Algebraic Geometry (final draft version), Spatial Cognition and Computation 12(1), pp. 23-52, 2012

Diedrich Wolter and Jan Olliver Wallgrün. Qualitative Spatial Reasoning for Applications: New Challenges and the SparQ Toolbox (final draft version), In: Qualitative Spatio-Temporal Representation and Reasoning: Trends and Future Directions, Shyamanta M. Hazarika (eds), 2011

Diedrich Wolter. SparQ - a spatial reasoning toolbox, In: Proceedings of AAAI Spring Symposium on Benchmarking of Qualitative Spatial and Temporal Reasoning Systems, 2009

Diedrich Wolter and Lyudmila Moshagen. Algebraic methods for analyzing qualitative spatio-temporal calculi, In: Proceedings of ECAI-Workshop on spatial and temporal reasoning, 2008

Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Lutz Frommberger, Diedrich Wolter, Frank Dylla, and Christian Freksa. A toolbox for qualitative spatial representation and reasoning. In In: T. Barkowsky, M. Knauff, G. Ligozat, & D. Montello (Eds.), Spatial Cognition V: Reasoning, Action, Interaction: International Conference Spatial Cognition 2006. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 4387, pp. 39-58. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2007

Frank Dylla, Lutz Frommberger, Jan Oliver Wallgrün, and Diedrich Wolter. SparQ: A toolbox for qualitative spatial representation and reasoning. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Qualitative Constraint Calculi: Application and Integration at KI 2006, Bremen, Germany, June 2006.

Jan Oliver Wallgrün, Lutz Frommberger, Frank Dylla, and Diedrich Wolter. SparQ User Manual V0.6. Technical Report 007-07/2006, Cognitive Systems - SFB/TR 8 Spatial Cognition, Universität Bremen, July 2006.

Please consult draft versions for overview only, contact us if you cannot access a paper.