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Formex configuration processing: A young branch of knowledge

Nooshin, Hoshyar (2017) Formex configuration processing: A young branch of knowledge International Journal of Space Structures.

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Abstract

The term ‘configuration’ refers to an arrangement of parts. For example, the elements of a structure constitute a configuration and so do the atoms of a molecule and the components of an electrical network. The most common usage of the term configuration is in reference to geometric compositions that consist of points, lines, surfaces and so on. The term ‘configuration processing’ refers to the skill of dealing with creation and manipulation of configurations. In particular, the term ‘formex configuration processing’ implies configuration processing with the aid of ‘formex algebra’. Formex algebra is evolved to perform processes needed for configuration processing, just as the ordinary algebra is evolved to perform operations needed for creation and manipulation of numerical models. The term ‘formex’ is derived from the word ‘form’ and it is meant to imply a ‘representation of form’. This article has two main objectives. The first objective is to provide a general feeling of how the elements of formex algebra perform configuration processing. This objective is achieved through simple examples, without involvement in too many details. It will be seen that working with parameters is a natural characteristic of formex configuration processing. Thus, a formex solution is, normally, for a class of problems rather than an individual one. This would allow consideration of different variants of a configuration by simply changing the values of the parameters. It will also be seen the ease with which freeforms can be created. The coverage also includes information about ‘Formian’ which is the name of the computer software for formex configuration processing. The second objective of this article is to record the story of the development of formex algebra from the beginnings in the mid-1970s to the middle of the second decade of the 21st century, covering some 40 years of development. Formex configuration processing is an effective and elegant conceptual tool for generation and manipulation of forms. However, there are also other approaches to configuration processing. In particular, there are now a number of highly successful software systems for configuration processing using various tactics. Formex algebra will be a natural complement for these systems.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Civil and Environmental Engineering
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Nooshin, HoshyarH.Nooshin@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Date : 6 November 2017
Identification Number : 10.1177/0266351117736968
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2017
Uncontrolled Keywords : Configuration processing; Formex algebra; Formian; Parametric formulation; Freeform
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 13 Nov 2017 15:35
Last Modified : 17 Nov 2017 09:18
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/844887

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