I’m always fascinated by a computer’s approach to human problems and experiences, because it usually ends up being something completely alien to us. Evolving Floor Plans is an experimental research project that I came across the other day. Using genetic algorithms, an optimized floor plan was created for a school.
The floor plan genome is a weighted, connected and undirected graph. Every desired room is represented with a node gene that contains information such as the room’s size. Connection genes specify two node genes to span as well as a randomly initialized weight; they are added in a random manner until the graph is connected. Adjacency requirements create a subgraph with maximum edge weight. For example, the cafeteria must be adjacent to the kitchen.
It’s neat that the optimization creates a building that looks like a biological cell. I’d love to see more examples, like an optimized apartment building or house with multiple floors.