Design and validation of dynamic hierarchies and adaptive layouts using spatial graph grammars

K. Liao, J. Kong, K. Zhang, B. de Vries

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With the thinking paradigm shifting on the evolution of complex adaptive systems, a pattern-based design approach is reviewed and reinterpreted. Although a variety of long-term and lasting explorations on patterns in geographical analysis, environmental planning, and design exist, in-depth investigations into a formalized framework, the process and mechanics of pattern formation, and pattern-based planning and design methodologies are still absent. To face this challenge, our research focuses on spatial cognition-based pattern design (for an intelligent and adaptive/interactive environment in planning and design), inspired by the information theory of complex systems and formal semantics of spatial information. A computational analysis method and design methodology is presented using the spatial graph grammars (SGG) formalism, for the structural complexity of two-dimensional spatial layouts. The proposed model consists of abstract syntax, together with the consistent rules of spatial-semantic compositionality, within a unified and formalized framework. In our model, pattern formation results from dynamic hierarchies and adaptive layouts (driven by complex dynamics and controlled by relevant spatial-semantic specifications) within multiple cognitive levels. Our work demonstrates the application potential of incorporating a novel computational tool (in the field of software engineering, data mining, and information visualization/visual analytics) into environmental planning and design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Geocomputation: Geocomputation 2015, The 13th International Conference
EditorsDaniel A. Griffith, Yongwan Chun, Denis J. Dean
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-22786-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-22785-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameAdvances in Geographic Information Science
ISSN (Print)1867-2434
ISSN (Electronic)1867-2442


  • Complex adaptive systems
  • Design cognition and knowledge representation
  • Design patterns
  • Spatial graph grammar (SGG)
  • Spatial-semantic analytics


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