[PhD topic] Layout problems and generative design for shape modeling

Advisor: Sylvain Lefebvre, MFX team

Funding: doctroal contract application

Layout problems appear in many areas of engineering and computer science. Typically, a layout problem requires to spatially arrange and interconnect a number of geometric elements in a domain. The elements can have a fixed or variable size, as well as an arbitrary shape. The domain may be be a volume, a planar region or a surface. It may be fixed or allowed to reshape. The inter-connections may be simple paths, shared contact regions, or both. A set of constraints and objectives complement the problem definition, such as minimizing interconnection length or area, precisely positioning some elements, allowing rotations.

Often, a designer is not after an optimal solution, but rather expects the system to explore and suggest a variety of possibilities. In engineering, this allows the user to consider other criteria that cannot be easily formulated in the problem. In modeling, this allows for design exploration, or generative design. Similarly, once a possible solution obtained, it is important to allow the user to perform progressive adjustments, in order to locally explore the space of possible designs.

Our objective is to build a common theoretical framework and efficient optimization approaches for addressing these geometric problems, in the context of computational design for fabrication.

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