Generating floor plan layouts with K-D tree algorithms and evolutionary strategies

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Katja Knecht; Reinhard König: Generating floor plan layouts with K-D tree algorithms and evolutionary strategies. In: Generative Art 2010.



K-dimensional trees, abbreviated as k-d trees in the following, are binary search and partitioning trees which represent a set of n points in a multi-dimensional space [1]. K-d tree data structures have primarily been used for nearest neighbor queries and several other query types for example in database applications. [1]

In the context of a research project at the Bauhaus-University Weimar concerned with the development of a creative evolutionary design method for layout problems in architecture and urban design, spatial partitioning with k-d trees has been applied as a partial solution to generate floor plan layouts. Unlike, for example, packing algorithms in [2] and slicing tree structures in [3] the employment of k-d tree algorithms in combination with evolutionary algorithms to generate floor plan layouts has not previously been examined in the scope presented here.

In the application developed in this project the k-d tree algorithm is initially used to subdivide a given rectangular area. The dividing lines thereby correspond to eventual spatial boundaries. By combining the k-d tree algorithm with genetic algorithms and evolutionary strategies, layouts can – in the current version - be optimized in three criteria dimensions (size, ratio and topology). Through user interaction the layouts can be dynamically adjusted and altered in real time. The result is a generative mechanism that provides an interesting and promising alternative to existing well-established algorithms for the creative and evolutionary solution of layout problems in architecture and urban design.

Extended Abstract


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