Computing walking distances within buildings using the universal circulation network
In this paper we define a computational method for measuring walking distances within buildings based on a length-weighted graph structure for a given building model. We name it the universal circulation network (UCN) and it has been implemented as plug-in software in Solibri Model Checker using building information modeling technologies. It provides a new explicitly defined method for representing circulation paths on top of building models supporting further circulation-related analysis as a network application. We define the computing algorithms and how we realize them. We focus not only on the implementation issues, but also on other intrinsic aspects that need to be considered while dealing with pedestrian circulation within buildings. The UCN is determined mainly by the spatial topology and geometry of a given building, and it returns consistent and accurate scalar quantities. It takes into consideration people-movement patterns, reflecting that people tend to walk along the shortest, easiest, and most visible paths. In several actual-design review projects, the UCN has proved that it is of practical benefit, not only to the distance measurement but also the visualization of pedestrian circulation, especially in reviewing building circulation.
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