The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 23


1 June 2000

Angular Analysis: a method for the quantification of space

This paper presents a method for the quantification of a spatial layout for the purposes of prediction of movement through or occupancy of the space. We call this method the 'angular analysis' of the space.

The method itself is straightforward and simply embodies the combination of two ideas. Firstly, the prediction that if a body, e.g., a person or means of transportation such as a car or a ship, is to travel from point A to point B, then it will attempt to turn as little as possible (rather than the more usual assumption that it will try to follow the shortest path between A and B). Secondly, that any point in the considered space can be a start or an end point to a journey, and any journey from any start to any end point is equally likely as any other journey. The combination of these two ideas is used as a basis for quantification of points within the space.

This paper shows how these ideas are linked intrinsically with the notion of 'space syntax' as proposed by Hillier and Hanson 1984 and later Hillier 1996, and other methods currently used for similar purposes. We give formal definitions of angular analysis methods and demonstration algorithms for the calculation.

The structure of the paper is as follows. In section 2, we very briefly outline the context of the angular analysis method within methods of prediction and simulation of movement and occupancy. Section 3 introduces the key concepts of angular analysis, while section 4 considers its position relative to other methods, looking in more detail at how it relates to space syntax, gravity modelling and autonomous agents. Section 5 discusses the mathematical detail for the metrics that will constitute angular analysis, and section 6 looks at methods for implementing the analysis. Finally, some concluding remarks are given in section 7.

This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 172KB.

Authors: Alasdair Turner

Publication Date: 1/4/2000

Download working paper No. 23.