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authors Koutamanis, Alexandros
year 1990
title Development of a computerized handbook of architectural plans
source Delft University of Technology
summary The dissertation investigates an approach to the development of visual / spatial computer representations for architectural purposes through the development of the computerized handbook of architectural plans (chap), a knowledge-based computer system capable of recognizing the metric properties of architectural plans. This investigation can be summarized as an introduction of computer vision to the computerization of architectural representations: chap represents an attempt to automate recognition of the most essential among conventional architectural drawings, floor plans. The system accepts as input digitized images of architectural plans and recognizes their spatial primitives (locations) and their spatial articulation on a variety of abstraction levels. The final output of chap is a description of the plan in terms of the grouping formations detected in its spatial articulation. The overall structure of the description is based on an analysis of its conformity to the formal rules of its “stylistic” context (which in the initial version of chap is classical architecture). Chapter 1 suggests that the poor performance of computerized architectural drawing and design systems is among others evidence of the necessity to computerize visual / spatial architectural representations. A recognition system such as chap offers comprehensive means for the investigation of a methodology for the development and use of such representations. Chapter 2 describes a fundamental task of chap: recognition of the position and shape of locations, the atomic parts of the description of an architectural plan in chap. This operation represents the final and most significant part of the first stage in processing an image input in machine environment. Chapter 3 moves to the next significant problem, recognition of the spatial arrangement of locations in an architectural plan, that is, recognition of grouping relationships that determine the subdivision of a plan into parts. In the absence of systematic and exhaustive typologic studies of classical architecture that would allow us to define a repertory of the location group types possible in classical architectural plans, Chapter 3 follows a bottom-up approach based on grouping relationships derived from elementary architectural knowledge and formalized with assistance from Gestalt theory and its antecedents. The grouping process described in Chapter 3 corresponds both in purpose and in structure to the derivation of a description of an image in computer vision [Marr 1982]. Chapter 4 investigates the well-formedness of the description of a classical architectural plan in an analytical manner: each relevant level (or sublevel) of the classical canon according to Tzonis & Lefaivre [1986] is transformed into a single group of criteria of well-formedness which is investigated independently. The hierarchical structure of the classical canon determines the coordination of these criteria into a sequence of cognitive filters which progressively analyses the correspondence of the descriptions derived as in Chapter 3 to the constraints of the canon. The methodology and techniques presented in the dissertation are primarily considered with respect to chap, a specific recognition system. The resulting specification of chap gives a measure of the use of such a system within the context of a computerized collection of architectural precedents and also presents several extensions to other areas of architecture. Although these extensions are not considered as verifiable claims, Chapter 5 describes some of their implications, including on the role of architectural drawing in computerized design systems, on architectural typologies, and on the nature and structure of generative systems in architecture.
series thesis:PhD
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