In architectural design, sketching is an important means to explore the first conceptual developments in the design process. It is necessary to understand the conventions of depiction and encoding in sketches and drawings if we want to support the architect in the sketching activity. The theory of graphic units provides a comprehensive list of conventions of depiction and encoding that are widely used among architects. These graphic units form useful building blocks to understand design drawings. We investigate whether it is possible to build a system that can recognize graphic units. The technology we are looking at is multi-agent systems. It was chosen for the following reasons: agents can specialize in graphic units, a multi-agent system can deal with ambiguity through negotiation and conflict resolution, and multi-agent systems function in dynamically changing environments. Currently there is no general approach or technology available for multi-agent systems. Therefore, in our research we first set out to make such a multi-agent system. In order to keep the complexity low, we first aim to make a system that can do something simple: playing Mahjong solitary. The Mahjong solitary system shares the following important features with a multi-agent system that can recognize graphic units: (1) specialized agents for moves; (2) negotiation between agents to establish the best move; (3) a dynamically changing environment; and (4) search activity for more advanced strategies. The paper presents the theoretical basis of graphic units and multi-agents systems, followed by a description of the multi-agent framework and its implementation. A number of systems that can play Mah Jong at various degrees of competence and accordingly degrees of complexity of multi-agent system, are distinguished. Finally, the paper demonstrates how the findings are informative for a system that can recognize graphic units.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|