Sean Hanna

Sean Hanna
University College London | UCL · Space Syntax Laboratory

Professor

About

111
Publications
23,848
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499
Citations

Publications

Publications (111)
Article
Despite the popularity of image-based classification techniques in identifying building materials and elements in building and construction sites, the real feasibility of it accommodating the needs of operation and maintenance (O&M) inspection-repair processes in the real project scale is still awaiting testing due to the vast number of project ass...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue for the case that cities are self-organised complex systems by presenting evidence on positive and reinforcing feedback mechanisms and robust global trends that characterise historical growth patterns. In two case studies; Manhattan and Barcelona, historical stages of urban growth were mapped and analysed. The analyses revea...
Conference Paper
Intelligibility, the extent to which non-local structure can be inferred from local properties, is examined using new methods based on angular segment analysis, demonstrating that such a property is consistent with exosomatic navigation. In many urban networks, effective movement is possible without knowledge of the broader structure, or memory, us...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigate the extent to which navigation may be performed using exosomatic cues directly viewed in the environment, as opposed to relying on memory of a map or mental representation. Using trajectory data from a virtual navigation game app, Sea Hero Quest, we analyse the moment to moment route choices of 200 participants, and compare these aga...
Article
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Synopsis From large ventral pleats of humpback whales to nanoscale ridges on flower petals, wrinkled structures are omnipresent, multifunctional, and found at hugely diverse scales. Depending on the particulars of the biological system—its environment, morphology, and mechanical properties—wrinkles may control adhesion, friction, wetting, or drag;...
Article
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A building's strategic asset management (SAM) capability has traditionally been limited by its site-based management. With the emergence of needs from clients about delivering a long-term portfolio-based building asset management plan that minimizes the asset risk and optimizes the value of their asset portfolios, SAM Units have emerged as a new bu...
Chapter
Cities are arguably the most complex things we have ever built. Machine learning (ML) approaches instead begin with the data, and attempt to discern patterns from within them, with the intent that these patterns will reliably inform decisions we make about the city. For some phenomena, patterns are predictable because they converge with increasing...
Article
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Reorientation depends greatly on the perceived geometric information, which constantly changes during navigation in urban environments. Environmental novelty, as a driver of exploratory behavior, is likely to engender this spatial Aha! moment. The paper investigates the contribution of two qualitatively different types of novelty, corresponding to...
Conference Paper
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Article
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A framework for calculating a weighted random walk on an urban street segment network is described, and tested as a predictor of pedestrian and vehicle movement in London and the wider region. This paper has three aims. First, it proposes the simplest possible model of agency in that individuals have neither memory, goals nor knowledge of the netwo...
Article
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This paper borrows the concept of spectral clustering in the computer vision field, proposes an alternative approach to optimise space frame structure. Spectral clustering was implemented to segment the whole structure into two subclusters. Then genetic algorithm was used to optimise member sizes of each subcluster separately. It is hypothesized th...
Chapter
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Article
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Robots-operating autonomous assembly applications in an unstructured environment require precise methods to locate the building components on site. However, the current available object detection systems are not well-optimised for construction applications, due to the tedious setups incorporated for referencing an object to a system and inability t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Robots-operating autonomous assembly applications in an unstructured environment require precise methods to locate the building components on site. However, the current available object detection systems are not well-optimised for construction applications, due to the tedious setups incorporated for referencing an object to a system and inability t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Two new methods of graph segment analysis are introduced and tested, which use a random walk as a theoretical and practical basis. The first, random walk betweenness (RWB), is a measure of betweenness centrality, similar to choice, and the second is a simple calculation of a random walk on a graph with similarities to visual agent simulation. To im...
Conference Paper
Spatial measures that can be applied at different scales, such as angular choice at specific radii, have been shown to effectively identify distinct and important spatial patterns at each scale. Foreground movement routes, local commercial centres, and identifiable urban regions have each be associated with different scales of such measures. This p...
Conference Paper
In this article, we explore a machine learning approach that helps the Facility Management (FM) manager and FM data analyst to do the FM data clustering and classification automatically. Through experiment the popular machine learning algorithm, we examine how the current available Machine Learning (ML) & Natural Language Processing (NLP) technic c...
Chapter
Full-text available
The paper presents the developments of a series of methods to train a fabrication system for the integration of material performances in timber manufacturing processes, combining robotic fabrication together with different sensing strategies and machine learning techniques, and their further application within a prototypical design to manufacturing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The paper presents the developments of a series of methods to train a fabrication system for the integration of material performances in timber manufacturing processes, combining robotic fabrication together with different sensing strategies and machine learning techniques, and their further application within a prototypical design to manufacturing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Spatial configuration is extensively used in spatial analysis methods to predict navigational behavior; several studies have shown a correlation of global and local space syntax metrics with the distribution of pedestrians in different settings. However, recent studies have also shown correlation of human behavior with the visibility of relevant ob...
Chapter
This paper presents the methods used and initial data analysis implemented toward the development of a spatial-architectural model for outdoor thermal comfort. Variables have been identified from existing thermal comfort models and qualified relative to their spatiality while data from a subset of these has been collected for preliminary statistica...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the initial developments of a method to train an adaptive robotic system for subtractive manufacturing with timber, based on sensor feedback, machine-learning procedures and material explorations. The methods were evaluated in a series of tests where the trained networks were successfully used to predict fabrication parameters f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the methods used and initial data analysis implemented toward the development of a spatial-architectural model for outdoor thermal comfort. Variables have been identified from existing thermal comfort models and qualified relative to their spatiality while data from a subset of these has been collected for preliminary statistica...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Virtual Reality environments in combination with brain activity recordings using electroencephalography (EEG) offer a fruitful method to investigate the emergence of specific experiential events in response to the built environment. However, real-world experimental settings involve dynamic and complex conditions which are difficult to be controlled...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents the research conducted with the aim of understanding if new advances in computer science, more specifically a type of supervised, feedforward Artificial Neural Network, a Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) is able to estimate the values of Visibility Graph Analysis (VGA) without the need for expensive calculation. The overarching hypot...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a method for the development of a spatial model for thermal comfort as a mechanism for the design of differentiated resilient urban space. Sixty-four existing thermal comfort indices have been identified and reviewed and their parameters mapped in order to identify those which are spatial. Eleven spatial parameters have been est...
Chapter
The scale of analysis in space syntax research has historically been limited to that of the city street network, partly due to the limits of computational resources, due to the availability of maps and data, and for theoretical reasons. This chapter presents the initial stages of a global scale analysis of the structure of international transportat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Bringing together the notions of mental impasses in problem solving and perceptual restructuring of spatial information during reorientation the present study investigates brain activity in two real-world pilot experiments on spatial reasoning: an orientation pointing task and a Sudoku puzzle. The working hypothesis of this research is that if we a...
Chapter
The international development aid system is complex. Researchers argue that a new approach embracing the ‘new science’ of complex systems can make aid more relevant, more appropriate, more innovative and more catalytic, where an interdisciplinary approach provides a new way to study regularities that differs from traditional science. This chapter d...
Article
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Design Computing and Cognition (DCC'14) - Volume 30 Issue 2 - Sean Hanna, Peter Bentley
Article
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A novel approach is demonstrated to approximate the effects of complex urban interference on the wind-induced surface pressure of tall buildings. This is achieved by decomposition of the domain into two components: the obstruction model (OM) of the static large-scale urban context, for which a single computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation is...
Conference Paper
We introduce Random Walk Closeness (RWC) to the space syntax computational paradigm. Random walks are stochastic processes in which an unbiased walker traverses a network purely based on his current location. Random walks have been used by space syntax in an agent based scenario, where results are simulation based. Here, the results are mathematica...
Conference Paper
Turner and Penn introduced the notion of integration of isovist fields as a means to understand such fields syntactically - as a set of components with a structural relationship to a global whole (1999). This research was further refined to put forward the concept of visibility graph analysis (VGA) as a tool for architectural analysis (Turner, Doxa...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a comparative analysis of three areas within London based on measurable attributes of each city block, to assess the degree to which characteristic differences between the neighborhoods are evident and quantifiable. Both morphological measures of buildings and Space Syntax measures of streets are used. Results indicate that neig...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper describes the setting out of generic housing rules. These rules were synthesized using a grammar formalism as described in previous papers. This study focuses on the parametric shape rules and its application. Generic grammars were applied in works such as the urban generic grammar for the purpose of describing urban patterns. However th...
Book
This book details the state-of-the-art of research and development in design computing and design cognition. It features more than 35 papers that were presented at the Sixth International Conference on Design Computing and Cognition, DCC’14, held at University College, London, UK. Inside, readers will find the work of expert researchers and practit...
Article
Full-text available
Background literature review, methodology, results, and analysis are presented for a novel approach to approximating wind pressure on tall buildings for the application of generative design exploration and optimisation. The predictions are approximations of time-averaged computational fluid dynamics (CFD) data with the aim of maintaining simulation...
Conference Paper
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This research explores the possibilities of integrating environmental and human inputs to achieve precise architectural goals. Specifically, the aim is to create an adaptive façade, trained on historical data relating to human (an override capability) and environmental inputs to maintain optimal internal lighting conditions for inhabitants. The stu...
Article
A representational scheme is described for cities, which uses the spectrum of the graph derived from a network of streets. This is of a sufficiently high dimensional-ity both to capture information of the city structure and to allow different repre-sentations of urban types to be extracted from it. It is proposed that a machine can extract the 'gen...
Article
This paper is a preliminary study to explore the benefits of user interaction in topology optimisation by attempting to support two distinct claims: the first claim states that there exist similarly optimal, yet visually different designs based on the exact same parameters. The second one supports that accurately predicting the outcome can guide th...
Conference Paper
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In this paper an approach for generating reduced- order performance models from surface mesh topology is presented. The method uses an ar- tificial neural network (ANN) to create a regres- sion function linking local vertex shape charac- teristics and simulation response. Two cases of model orientation interpolation are demonstrated; firstly for si...
Article
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A new approach is demonstrated to approximate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in urban tall building design contexts with complex wind interference. This is achieved by training an artificial neural network (ANN) on local shape and fluid features to return surface pressure on test model meshes of complex forms. This is as opposed to the use of g...
Chapter
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Shape grammars are formulations consisting of transformation rules that describe design. Previous studies have focused on recreating the style of family-related solutions. This study does not aim to recreate a specific architectural style but is part of wider research aimed at inferring shape grammars. It is believed that more than one grammar can...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A novel approach is presented to predict wind pressure on tall buildings for early-stage generative design exploration and optimisation. The method provides instantaneous surface pressure data, reducing performance feedback time whilst maintaining accuracy. This is achieved through the use of a machine learning algorithm trained on procedurally gen...
Conference Paper
Designing structures with minimal environmental impact is emerging as a serious concern in the construction sector. Conventional structural design practice involves designing first for strength, followed by secondary checks on deflections and other serviceability limits states. If these limits are exceeded, the conventional solution has been to add...
Article
Full-text available
The following paper describes a shape grammar that recreates Palladian villas. A Palladian grammar was originally proposed by Stiny and Mitchell. However, this alternative grammar uses different parametric shape rules and methodology to test the hypothesis that different grammars can generate the same corpus of designs.The formalism is then impleme...
Thesis
Optimisation and related techniques are well suited to clearly defined problems involving systems that can be accurately simulated, but not to tasks in which the phenomena in question are highly complex or the problem ill-defined. These latter are typical of architecture and particularly creative design tasks, which therefore currently lack viable...
Article
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Studies were carried out using Display Energy Certificate (DEC) data for university buildings to investigate building parameters as determinants of energy use. A preliminary statistical analysis was conducted of annual electricity and heating fuel consumption across a UK-wide dataset focusing on building activity and internal environment. Using dat...
Article
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In many cases, the use of product configurators provides a number of benefits for engineering-oriented companies, such as shorter lead times, the use of fewer man hours, and improved product quality. However, not all of these projects are successful. ...
Article
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The 7th International Conference on Intelligent Environments (IE11) was held July 25–28 2011 at the Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK. The general chairs were Ahmad Lotfi (Nottingham Trent University), and Sean Hanna (Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, University College London). Juan Carlos Augusto (University of Ulster) and Achilles K...
Article
Full-text available
The design methodology described in this paper takes a substantial shift from conventional methods. Traditionally sizing is based on the worst expected load scenario. By contrast to this conventional passive approach the method presented here replaces passive member strategically with active elements (actuators) which are only activated when the lo...
Conference Paper
The design methodology explained in this paper takes a substantial shift from conventional methods where sizing is based on a single load case i.e. the maximum expected load. The difference from a conventional passive approach is that strategically located elements of the system provide controlled output energy (actuators) in order to manipulate ac...
Article
Distributed intelligence in designDesign is not just productionThe design process: An exampleRationalisation and productionInnovation and interpretationThe current state of CAD and computationFuture methodsReferences
Chapter
Barry Schwartz defined the paradox of choice as the fact that in western developed societies a large amount of choice is commonly associated with welfare and freedom but too much choice causes the feeling of less happiness, less satisfaction and can even lead to paralysis. The paradox of choice has been recognized as one of the major sources of mas...
Chapter
Full-text available
Designed artefacts may be quantified by any number of measures. This paper aims to show that in doing so, the particular measures used may matter very little, but as many as possible should be taken. A set of building plans is used to demonstrate that arbitrary measures of their shape serve to classify them into neighbourhood types, and the accurac...
Article
AI EDAM Special Issue, November 2011, Vol. 25, No. 4 - Volume 24 Issue 4 - Sean Hanna, Bill Regli
Conference Paper
In making a design proposal, the designer is implicitly assuming some view of fu-ture events to which the design corresponds, yet the scenarios to which designers often respond are often too complex and difficult to define, so prediction is out of the question. Complex systems that appear unstable at one level of detail are often predictable at a h...
Conference Paper
Models of creativity based on natural evolution have taken the genetic code of modern genetics, and ignored the goal-less nature of Darwin’s original theory. This paper uses the comparison with evolutionary theory to suggest that exactly the opposite approach should be taken if we plan to more accurately model the processes of human design creativi...
Article
This paper discusses the integration of knowledge bases and shape grammars for the generation of building models, covering interaction, system, and implementation. Knowledge-based and generative systems are combined to construct a method for characterizing ...
Article
AI EDAM Special Issue, November 2011, Vol. 25, No. 4 Representing and Reasoning About Three-Dimensional Space - Volume 24 Issue 2 - Sean Hanna, Bill Regli
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Simulation is an increasingly essential tool in the design of our environment, but any model is only as good as the initial assumptions on which it is built. This paper aims to outline some of the limits and potential dangers of reliance on simulation, and suggests how to make our models, and our buildings, more robust with respect to the uncertain...
Article
Style is a broad term that could potentially refer to any features of a work, as well as a fluid concept that is subject to change and disagreement. A similarly flexible method of representing style is proposed based on the idea of an archetype, to which real designs can be compared, and tested with examples of architectural plans. Unlike a fixed,...
Chapter
Full-text available
This analysis investigates whether and to what degree quantifiable spatial attributes, as expressed in plan representations, can capture elements related to the experience of spatial identity. By combining different methods of shape and spatial analysis it attempts to quantify spatial attributes, predominantly derived from plans, in order to illust...
Conference Paper
In the course of the exploration of computational means in the architectural design process, in order to investigate more complex, adaptive geometries, the Voronoi diagram has recently gained some attention, being a three-dimensional space-filling structure which is modular but not repetitive. The project looks at the Voronoi diagram as a load-bear...
Article
While structural optimisation is usually handled by iterative methods requiring repeated samples of a physics-based model, this process can be computationally demanding. Given a set of previously optimised structures of the same topology, this paper uses inductive learning to replace this optimisation process entirely by deriving a function that di...
Conference Paper
This paper proposes a simple parametric system to generate an almost complete set of ruled surfaces that may be used to describe building geometry. The major classes of regular, named ruled surfaces can be generated from a limited set of curves. Each of these is shown to be reducible to a transformation of a single standard curve, a helix, and ther...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In many design tasks it is difficult to explicitly define an objective function. This paper uses machine learning to derive an objective in a feature space based on selected examples of previous designs, thus implicitly capturing the features that distinguish that set from others without requiring a predetermined measure of fitness. A genetic algor...
Article
Full-text available
Style is a broad term that could potentially refer to any features of a work, as well as a fluid concept that is subject to change and disagreement, yet approaches to representing it too often seek either a pre-defined set of generative rules or list of measurable features. Instead, a general and flexible method of retrospectively and automatically...
Article
This paper proposes a simple parametric system to generate an almost complete set of ruled surfaces that may be used to describe building geometry. The major classes of regular, named ruled surfaces can be generated from a limited set of curves. Each of these is shown to be reducible to a transformation of a single standard curve, a helix, and ther...