CumInCAD is a Cumulative Index about publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design
supported by the sibling associations ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD and CAAD futures

id 8fb2
authors McCall, Raymond, Bennett, Patrick and Johnson, Erik
year 1994
title An Overview of the PHIDIAS II HyperCAD System
source Reconnecting [ACADIA Conference Proceedings / ISBN 1-880250-03-9] Washington University (Saint Louis / USA) 1994, pp. 63-74
summary The PHIDIAS II HyperCAD system combines the functionality of CAD graphics, hypermedia, database management and knowledge-based computation in a single, highly integrated design environment. The CAD functionality includes both 3-D and 2-D vector graphics. The hypermedia includes support for text, raster images, video and sound. The database management enables persistent storage and interlinking of large collections of text, images, video, sound and vector graphics, i.e., thousands of vector graphic objects and drawings in a single database. Retrieval is provided both through use of "associative indexing" based on hyperlinks and through use of an advanced query language. The knowledge- based computation includes both inference and knowledgebased critiquing.

A highly unusual feature of PHIDIAS II is that it implements all of its functions using only hypermedia mechanisms. Complex vector graphic drawings and objects are represented as composite hypermedia nodes. Inference and critiquing are implemented through use of what are known as virtual structures [Halasz 1988], including virtual links and virtual nodes. These nodes and links are dynamic (computed) rather than static (constant). They are defined as expressions in the same language used for queries and are computed at display time. The implementation of different kinds of functions using a common set of mechanisms makes it easy to use them in combination, thus further augmenting the system's functionality.

PHIDIAS supports design by informing architects as they develop a solution's form. The idea is thus not to make the design process faster or cheaper but rather to improve the quality of the things designed. We believe that architects can create better buildings for their users if they have better information. This includes information about buildings of given types, user populations, historical and modern precedents, local site and climate conditions, the urban and natural context and its historical development, as well as local, state and federal regulations.

series ACADIA
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