Examples of predefined rules include: "couches should face the television for optimal viewing" or "furniture should allow doors to open inwards". The program extracts relationships and then runs everything through various optimization steps. Different optimized final outcomes are possible.
The group has used the program to optimally design everything from a living room to a sewing factory to a Chinese restaurant. They titled their paper "Make it Home: Automatic Optimiziation of Furniture Arrangement."
Here's an example for an ideal layout given the equipment and furniture located inside a sewing factory.
Image Credit: UCLA and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
To view their YouTube video, click here.
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