An Interactive Expert System for Daylighting Design Exploration
Architects increasingly use digital tools during the design process, particularly as they approach such complex problems as designing for successful daylighting performance. However, while simulation tools may provide the designer with valuable information, they do not necessarily guide the user towards design changes which will improve performance. This paper proposes an interactive, goal-based expert system for daylighting design, intended for use during the early design phase. The expert system consists of two major components: a daylighting knowledge-base which contains information regarding the effects of a variety of design conditions on resultant daylighting performance, and a fuzzy rule-based decision-making logic which is used to determine those design changes most likely to improve performance for a given design. The system gives the user the ability to input an initial model and a set of daylighting performance goals in the form of illuminance and daylighting-specific glare metrics. The system acts as a “virtual daylighting consultant,” guiding the user towards improved performance while maintaining the integrity of the original design and of the design process itself. Two sets of case studies are presented: first, a comparison of the expert system results to high performing benchmark designs generated with a genetic algorithm; and second, an evaluation of the expert system performance based on varying levels of aesthetic constraints. The results of these case studies indicate that the expert system is successful at finding designs with improved performance for a variety of initial geometries and daylighting performance goals.