Adjacency structures as mappings between function and structure in discrete static systems

Abstract: "One view of the design process is that design is a mapping from functional requirements to artifact description. This article presents initial work on a method for mapping between functional requirements and a description of the physical structure of discrete static systems. The representation consists of a set of atomic elements, a hierarchy of compound components from the domain, and the composition ofa graph of adjacent atomic elements. Through forward or backward chaining, this method may be used in a parsing mode to discover the behavior and function of a given system, or in a generative mode to suggest instances of systems which can be used to satisfy the desired functionality.Parsing discovers the behavior of the system in terms of the compound components by matching on subgraphs within the overall adjacency graph. Generation hierarchically instantiates subgraphs which satisfy the initial functional requirements and the requirements propagated by previously instantiated components. The graph is composed from a geometric model, but the method is independent of the specific representation used by the geometric modeler. We focus on the domain of structural systems in buildings to describe this method."