The Mathematica Journal
Feature Articles
New Products
New Publications
News Bulletins
Write Us
About the Journal
Staff and Contributors
Back Issues
Download this Issue

Mathematica's Solutions

Enter Luc Barthelet. Luc is the general manager of Maxis, the arm of Electronic Arts responsible for the Sim family of products. He is a long-time user of Mathematica and has found it invaluable for a variety of problems involved in the research and development of projects like SimCity.

Barthelet's plan was to use Mathematica to develop a set of graphical replacement rules for "solving" the graphic-selection process based on the constraints present in the neighborhood of the target tile. The graphic design team developed a taxonomy of intersection graphics and Barthelet created Mathematica notebooks that would isolate some key features of the neighborhood and propagate a solution using a set of simple replacement rules.


Rule. A rule that finishes the connection of two diagonal roads using a diagonal curve.


Rule. A cleaned-up four-lane highway curve.


Rule. A construction of one-half of an elevated highway and intersection; the second half is easily obtained via symmetry.

Barthelet's rules consider the 4, 8, or 24 connected neighbors to a given tile to decide whether to leave some tiles' graphics unchanged, add additional graphic elements, or replace them with other graphical elements. The illustrations above demonstrate a few of the rules used with road networks. Similar sets of rules exist for the various utilities and other transportation systems.

Converted by Mathematica      April 24, 2000

[Editor's Pick Index] [Prev Page][Next Page]