Implementation of Decentralized Version Control in Collective Design Modelling

Case Study of Web Application Utilizing the Process of GIT
  • Yasushi SakaiEmail author
  • Daisuke Tsunoda


Although the work of Architecture is fully collaboration involving different kinds of specialties with a wide range of consults, Architectural tradition shows that designers still work independently, without clear intension to exchange ideas in design. This view can be derived from what architects uses as tools for design. Attempts to collaborative spatial design have followed since the advent of the internet, yet modern CAD systems still lack a decentralized version control which is crucial to multiuser participation. On the other hand, software development is rapidly changing its process, influenced by the movement of social networking. Today numerous open source programs are developed by the collaboration between vast varieties of people who never meet physically. As a result, the evolution of software resembles the form of nature having different versions and functionality. Moreover, software development can be interpreted as a scientific method where each study increments its knowledge balancing citation and new ideas. Studies achieve reputation from the number of citations as much as the innovativeness. To integrate this accumulation of knowledge in the field of spatial design, it is necessary to measure the difference between alternatives, and clarify what was added and deleted. This study is based on a web application ( which implements the same technology that present software development stands on. The web application was exclusively developed as a browser based 3D modelling site to create simple dwelling like volumes using webGL. Within those plans, the system calculates the resemblance between the models utilizing an algorithm that computes the difference between texts. This algorithm called “Diff” is actually used in a decentralized version control system for software development called GIT. It calculates which line of code was added and deleted throughout the edit. In this study, the models are converted in a format that can run this algorithm to gain the similarity ratio. The system requires the users to choose one model that already exists, and calculates the resemblance in real-time. As a result, a tree diagram is collectively achieved with each having the link of inheritance. In GIT, this action is called forking, which copies and edits the existing program and creates a new branch to solve different demands. An evaluation method is concurrently running inside the web application, exchanging points between the “parent” and “child” models accordingly to the calculated similarity ratio gained by the users. The system is distinct to poll systems for achieving collectiveness, involving users to be designers and evaluators at the same time. Along with the anonymous user participation, an automated design generator (bots) was implemented to investigate man-machine collaboration. As a result, 1750 models were submitted to the database between 3 months of experiments. Analysis showed near half of the time users inherited a model different from what they have previously submitted, and 23 % of the submitted models were inherited a machine generated model.


Similarity Ratio Collaborative Design User Participation Model Creation Diff Algorithm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nikken SekkeiTokyoJapan

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