A Complex-Network Perspective on Alexander’s Wholeness

  title={A Complex-Network Perspective on Alexander’s Wholeness},
  author={Bin Jiang},
  journal={Spatial Synthesis},
  • B. Jiang
  • Published 29 February 2016
  • Art
  • Spatial Synthesis

Figures and Tables from this paper

Alexander’s Theories Applied to Urban Design

The main conclusion is that centrality measures seem to offer an opportunity to get closer to Christopher Alexander’s concepts, but a key point to move forward is a deeper investigation on how to describe the urban elements, how to identify spatial differentiation, and how to visualize the results.

A Recursive Definition of Goodness of Space for Bridging the Concepts of Space and Place for Sustainability

Conceived and developed by Christopher Alexander through his life’s work, The Nature of Order, wholeness is defined as a mathematical structure of physical space in our surroundings. Yet, there was

Living Structure Down to Earth and Up to Heaven: Christopher Alexander

Discovered by Christopher Alexander, living structure is a physical phenomenon, through which the quality of the built environment or artifacts can be judged objectively. It has two distinguishing

New Paradigm in Mapping: A Critique on Cartography and GIS

  • B. Jiang
  • Art
    Cartogr. Int. J. Geogr. Inf. Geovisualization
  • 2019
As noted in the epigraph, a map was long ago seen as the map of the map, the map of the map, of the map, and so on endlessly. This recursive perspective on maps, however, has received little

Structure Entropy, Self-Organization, and Power Laws in Urban Street Networks: Evidence for Alexander's Ideas

This work recovers the actual scale-free probability distribution for natural roads in self-organized cities and obtains this passage by invoking Jaynes's Maximum Entropy principle (statistical physics) and capitalize on modern ideas of quantification and well known results on structuration (lattice theory) to measure the information network entropy.

Assessing Alexander’s Later Contributions to a Science of Cities

This review presents evidence that the newer work of Christopher Alexander was a logically consistent culmination of a lifelong and remarkably useful inquiry into part-whole relations—an ancient but still-relevant and even urgent topic of design, architecture, urbanism, and science.

A Topological Representation for Taking Cities as a Coherent Whole

  • B. Jiang
  • Computer Science
    The Mathematics of Urban Morphology
  • 2019
A geographic representation that views cities as a whole is developed, which fundamentally differs from existing geometry-based geographic representations and can be applied to any design or pattern, such as carpets, Baroque architecture and artifacts, and fractals in order to assess their beauty.

A Map Is a Living Structure with the Recurring Notion of Far More Smalls than Larges

This paper argues that both the map and the territory are a living structure, and that it is the inherent hierarchy of “far more smalls than larges” that constitutes the foundation of maps and mapping.

The mathematical structure of Alexander’s A Pattern Language: An analysis of the role of invariant patterns

In 1977 Christopher Alexander and his colleagues from the Centre for Environmental Structure published A Pattern Language, an innovative design guide aimed at restoring life and beauty to the built

Measuring the complexity of urban form and design

  • G. Boeing
  • Computer Science
    URBAN DESIGN International
  • 2018
A typology of measures and indicators for assessing the physical complexity of the built environment at the scale of urban design is developed and extends quantitative measures from city planning, network science, ecosystems studies, fractal geometry, statistical physics, and information theory to the analysis of urban form and qualitative human experience.



Wholeness as a hierarchical graph to capture the nature of space

This paper defines wholeness as a hierarchical graph, in which individual centers are represented as the nodes and their relationships as the directed links, and suggests that the hierarchical levels, or the ht-index of the PR scores induced by the head/tail breaks, can characterize the degree of wholleness for the whole.

Defining Least Community as a Homogeneous Group in Complex Networks

Head/tail Breaks for Visualization of City Structure and Dynamics

Networks: An Introduction

This book brings together for the first time the most important breakthroughs in each of these fields and presents them in a coherent fashion, highlighting the strong interconnections between work in different areas.

Geospatial analysis requires a different way of thinking: the problem of spatial heterogeneity

Geospatial analysis is very much dominated by a Gaussian way of thinking, which assumes that things in the world can be characterized by a well-defined mean, i.e., things are more or less similar in

Emergence of scaling in random networks

A model based on these two ingredients reproduces the observed stationary scale-free distributions, which indicates that the development of large networks is governed by robust self-organizing phenomena that go beyond the particulars of the individual systems.

Notes on the genesis of wholes: Christopher Alexander and his continuing influence

Christopher Alexander, author of the seminal planning and architecture texts Notes on the Synthesis of Form, ‘A City is Not A Tree’, and A Pattern Language, has published his longest and most complex

Detecting community structure in networks

A number of more recent algorithms that appear to work well with real-world network data, including algorithms based on edge betweenness scores, on counts of short loops in networks and on voltage differences in resistor networks are described.

Discovering Nested Communities

This work proposes discovering a sequence of nested communities all containing the starting set, and each community forming a denser subgraph than the next, and employs a simple heuristic for discovering an order.

A Universal Rule for the Distribution of Sizes

Human artifacts, ranging from small objects all the way up to large buildings and cities, display a variety and range of subdivisions. Repeating structural and design elements of the same size will