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Paper w78_2007_22:
A decision support software tool for reasoning about the subjective impressions of a lighting installation

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Carl P. L. Schultz, Robert Amor, Hans W. Guesgen, Brenda Lobb

A decision support software tool for reasoning about the subjective impressions of a lighting installation

Abstract: The discipline of architecture is concerned with finding a balance between both the functional and the subjective aspects of a building environment. This involves managing contradictory requirements that are often difficult to resolve through purely numerical analysis; an example of this is an electrical lighting installation designed to evoke a desired subjective impression or ‘atmosphere’, which may conflict with the visual requirements for accurate or safe task performance. Despite this, few software tools exist that directly support an architect when dealing with information relating to the non-visual effects of lighting. A fundamental limitation in standard software tools is the reliance on nu-merical approaches for representing and reasoning about lighting and construction related information. In particular, when information is uncertain or completely unavailable, numerical formulae can be awkward or impossible to use in a reliable way. Work in the field of qualitative reasoning has attempted to address these issues, and in this paper we pre-sent a prototype decision support software tool that reports on the subjective impressions of a lighting scheme, based on a qualitative spatial reasoning engine. Research in subjective response to lighting is reviewed and interpreted in the context of qualitative reasoning, and the prototype system is compared to studies on subjective impressions.

Keywords: Building environBenoMdecision support software , BenoMsp


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