Spatial synthesis by disjunctive constraint satisfaction

Baykan, CA
Fox, MS
The spatial synthesis problem addressed in this paper is the configuration of rectangles in 2D space, where the sides of the rectangles are parallel to an orthogonal coordinate system. Variables are the locations of the edges of the rectangles and their orientations. Algebraic constraints on these variables define a layout and constitute a constraint satisfaction problem. We give a new O(n(2)) algorithm for incremental path-consistency, which is applied after adding each algebraic constraint. Problem requirements are formulated as spatial relations between the rectangles, for example, adjacency, minimum distance, and nonoverlap. Spatial relations are expressed by Boolean combinations of the algebraic constraints; called disjunctive constraints. Solutions are generated by backtracking search, which selects a disjunctive constraint and instantiates its disjuncts. The selected disjuncts describe an equivalence class of configurations that is a significantly different solution. This method generates the set of significantly different solutions that satisfy all the requirements. The order of instantiating disjunctive constraints is critical for search efficiency. It is determined dynamically at each search state, using functions of heuristic measures called textures. Textures implement fail-first and prune-early strategies. Extensions to the model, that is, 3D configurations, configurations of nonrectangular shapes, constraint relaxation, optimization, and adding new rectangles during search are discussed.


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Citation Formats
C. Baykan and M. Fox, “Spatial synthesis by disjunctive constraint satisfaction,” AI EDAM-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR ENGINEERING DESIGN ANALYSIS AND MANUFACTURING, pp. 245–262, 1997, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: