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.



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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