a.SCatch: Semantic Structure for Architectural Floor Plan Retrieval

  • Markus Weber
  • Christoph Langenhan
  • Thomas Roth-Berghofer
  • Marcus Liwicki
  • Andreas Dengel
  • Frank Petzold
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6176)


Architects’ daily routine involves working with drawings. They use either a pen or a computer to sketch out their ideas or to do a drawing to scale. We therefore propose the use of a sketch-based approach when using the floor plan repository for queries. This enables the user of the system to sketch a schematic abstraction of a floor plan and search for floor plans that are structurally similar. We also propose the use of a visual query language, and a semantic structure as put forward by Langenhan. An algorithm extracts the semantic structure sketched by the architect on DFKI’s Touch& Write table and compares the structure of the sketch with that of those from the floor plan repository. The a.SCatch system enables the user to access knowledge from past projects easily. Based on CBR strategies and shape detection technologies, a sketch-based retrieval gives access to a semantic floor plan repository. Furthermore, details of a prototypical application which allows semantic structure to be extracted from image data and put into the repository semi-automatically are provided.


semantic building design architecture image understanding case based reasoning graph theory 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Langenhan, C.: Semantische Suche Web 3.0 für die Architektur, Bauhaus. Universität Weimar (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Heylighen, A., Neuckermans, H.: A case base of case-based design tools for architecture. Computer-Aided Design 33(14), 1111–1122 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Richter, K., Heylighen, A., Donath, D.: Looking back to the future - an updated case base of case-based design tools for architecture. In: Knowledge Modelling - eCAADe (2007)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hua, K., Faltings, B., Smith, I.: Cadre: case-based geometric design. Artificial Intelligence in Engineering 10, 171–183 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Voss, A.: Case design specialists in fabel. In: Issues and Applications of Case Based Reasoning in Design, pp. 301–335 (1997)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lottaz, C., Stalker, R., Smith, I.: Constraint solving and preference activation for interactive design. Artif. Intell. Eng. Des. Anal. Manuf. 12(1), 13–27 (1998)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Flemming, U.: Case-based design in the seed system. Automation in Construction 3(2-3), 123–133 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee, J., James, P., Garrett, H., Stephen, P., Lee, R.: Integrating housing design and case-based reasoning (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Mubarak, K.: Case based reasoning for design composition in architecture. PhD thesis, School of Architecture. Carnegie Mellon University (2004)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Oxman, R., Oxman, R.: Precedents: memory structure in design case libraries. In: CAAD Futures 1993: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Futures, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 273–287. North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam (1993)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Inanc, B.S.: Casebook. an information retrieval system for housing floor plans. In: CAADRIA 2000, Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia, pp. 389–398 (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Heylighen, A., Neuckermans, H.: Dynamo: A dynamic architectural memory on-line. Educational Technology & Society 3(2) (2000)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Taha, D.S.: Moneo, An Architectural Assistant System. PhD thesis, University of Alexandria, Egypt (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Domeshek, E.A., Kolodner, J.L., Zimring, C.M.: The design of a tool kit for case-based design aids (1994)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lin, C.-Y., Mao-Lin, C.: Smart semantic query of design information in a case library. digital design - research and practice. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computer Aided Architectural Design Futures, pp. 125–135 (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Eastman, C., Teichholz, P., Stalker, R., Kolodner, L.: BIM Handbook: A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers, Designers, Engineers and Contractors. Wiley, Chichester (2008)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Eastman, C.: Building product models: computer environments supporting design and construction. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1999)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ubiquity: Interview with Jerry Laiserin (2005)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Interoperability, I.A.F.: Building Smart (2010)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Liwicki, M., El-Neklawy, S., Dengel, A.: Touch & Write - A Multi-Touch Table with Pen-Input. In: Proceedings International Workshop on Document Analysis Systems (to appear, 2010)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Han, J.Y.: Low-cost multi-touch sensing through frustrated total internal reflection. In: UIST 2005: Proceedings of the 18th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, pp. 115–118. ACM, New York (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Egenhofer, M.J.: Spatial-query-by-sketch. In: VL 1996: Proceedings of the 1996 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, Washington, DC, USA. IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos (1996)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dosch, P., Tombre, K., Ah-Soon, C., Masini, G.: A complete system for the analysis of architectural drawings. International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition 3(2), 102–116 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Lu, T., Yang, H., Yang, R., Cai, S.: Automatic analysis and integration of architectural drawings. International Journal of Document Analysis and Recognition (IJDAR) 9(1), 31–47 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Or, S.h., Wong, K.h., Yu, Y.k., Chang, M.M.y., Kong, H.: Highly Automatic Approach to Architectural Floorplan Image Understanding & Model Generation. Pattern Recognition (2005)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Tabbone, S., Wendling, L., Tombre, K.: Matching of graphical symbols in line-drawing images using angular signature information. International Journal on Document Analysis and Recognition 6(2), 115–125 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Tombre, K., Tabbone, S., Pélissier, L., Lamiroy, B., Dosch, P.: Text/graphics separation revisited. LNCS, pp. 200–211. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bunke, H.: On a relation between graph edit distance and maximum common subgraph. Pattern Recognition Letters 18(8), 689–694 (1997)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Garey, M.R., Johnson, D.S.: Computers and Intractability; A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness. W. H. Freeman & Co., New York (1990)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Watson, I., Farhi, M.: Case-based reasoning: A review. The Knowledge Engineering Review (1994)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Feng, G., Sun, Z., Viard-Gaudin, C.: Hand-drawn electric circuit diagram understanding using 2D dynamic programming. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Frontiers in Handwriting Recognition, Québec, pp. 493–498 (2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Weber
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christoph Langenhan
    • 3
  • Thomas Roth-Berghofer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcus Liwicki
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andreas Dengel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank Petzold
    • 3
  1. 1.Knowledge Management DepartmentGerman Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) GmbHKaiserslauternGermany
  2. 2.Knowledge-Based Systems Group, Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of KaiserslauternKaiserslautern
  3. 3.Chair of Architectural Informatics, Faculty of ArchitectureTechnical University of MunichMunichGermany

Personalised recommendations