Solutions for visibility-accessibility and signage problems via layered-graphs

Dalton, Nicholas Sheep and Dalton, Ruth Conroy (2010). Solutions for visibility-accessibility and signage problems via layered-graphs. The Journal of Space Syntax, 1(1) pp. 164–176.

URL: http://www.journalofspacesyntax.org/

Abstract

One of the rare representational problems encountered in space syntax analysis arises during the construction of axial representations of architectural configurations and is the so called 'visibility- accessibility problem'. This describes a situation where it is possible to see a space but not to be able to directly move towards it. This condition arises in a number of cases, for example, in an office containing half-height partitions or glass walls, in an urban street where safety barriers prevent indis- criminate pedestrian movement or in an atrium-building that permits direct views to the second story but does not facilitate direct access to those same spaces. This paper introduces a new spatial repre- sentation called the multi-layered network that is intended to serve as a more generalized representa- tion of topological spaces than previous representations. Evidence is presented to substantiate aspects of the proposed representation based on an extension of current topological representations and asso- ciated computational methods. A software implementation of the multi-layered network is demon- strated along with examples from a sample of hitherto 'problematic' cases. Finally, it is argued that this new multi-layered representation could equally be used as the underlying mechanism for a spatial representation that might be able to accommodate signage-information, for example, and so, by ex- tension, could establish testable conditions with the potential to measure the effect of signage 'catch- ment areas' and signage placement in a building.

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