City Design with Evolutionary Computation
Adam T.S. Cohen
This page contains information about CityBreeder, a system introduced in Adam Cohen's Master's of Computer Science thesis. Papers based on this are currently being drafted for submission to conferences and journals.

Cities are complex entities which play important roles in the lives of the many people who inhabit them. The process of creating city designs is a complex, time-consuming endeavour, pursued by several different groups. Though procedural techniques have been developed to speed up this process, virtually none enable the creation of designs based on multiple existing designs. This thesis presents CityBreeder, a system which enables the rapid, user-guided development of city designs based on the blending of multiple existing city designs. Almost no previous research has been conducted regarding this capability.

This capability is achieved through the use of Evolutionary Computation, which is used to discover the genetic representation of existing city designs derived from real city data obtained from OpenStreetMap. Once discovered, these cities can be 'bred' together, creating new offspring designs. More of this thesis is concerned with the first portion of this task: the discovery of the genetic representations of real city designs. The combination of these cities is given less attention, but is explored through several demonstrations which show this capability is achieved.

More specifically, CityBreeder employs Genetic Programming on a layered quadtree genotype representation to create phenotype city designs consisting of road layouts comprised of nodes and edges. Additionally, a genotype-to-phenotype expression mechanism, genetic operators and a fitness function employing computational geometry techniques are presented and tested, all of which are tailored to the city design context. Experiments and examples are shown which analyze the system's representation and operators using simple, artificially constructed data, as well as through experiments showing the system functioning with data derived from real cities.

Thesis Document :
Thesis Document
Thesis Defence Slides :
Thesis Defence Slides
Conference paper
coming soon
The thesis document may also be mirrored at the webpage for Carleton University's Complex Adaptive Systems Group.
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After the publication of the CityBreeder thesis, it was pointed out that there exists an entity with a similar name. CityBreeder (presented here) should not be confused with the non-evolutionary exhibit "City Breeder" (link). It is in no way related to this work.