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String-Rewriting Grammars for Evolutionary Architectural Design

James McDermott, John Mark Swafford, Martin Hemberg, Jonathan Byrne, Erik Hemberg, Michael Fenton, Ciaran McNally, Elizabeth Shotton and Michael O'Neill
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James McDermott: Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
John Mark Swafford: Natural Computing Research and Applications Group, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Martin Hemberg: Department of Ophthalmology, Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
Elizabeth Shotton: School of Architecture, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
Michael O'Neill: Natural Computing Research and Applications Group, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland

Environment and Planning B, 2012, vol. 39, issue 4, 713-731

Abstract: Evolutionary methods afford a productive and creative alternative design workflow. Crucial to success is the choice of formal representation of the problem. String-rewriting context-free grammars (CFGs) are one common option in evolutionary computation, but their suitability for design is not obvious. Here, a CFG-based evolutionary algorithm for design is presented. The process of meta-design is described, in which the CFG is created and then refined to produce an improved design language. CFGs are contrasted with another grammatical formalism better known in architectural design: Stiny's shape grammars. The advantages and disadvantages of the two types of grammars for design tasks are discussed.

Keywords: evolutionary design; grammatical evolution; design languages; context-free grammar; shape grammar (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1068/b38037

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