Research Images As Art 2005/06 Gallery


Context-Free Tree

 
Mr Brock Craft, UCL Interaction Centre_

This tree-like structure contains over 56.8 million distinct shapes and 2.1 million branches, but was produced with only 16 instructions. This reduced-size reproduction, if printed at full size, would be meters across. It was created with software that uses a "context-free grammar". Context-free grammars are logical constructs in Computer Science that can be used to formally describe programming languages and other complex entities. They are useful because they can very economically describe highly complex processes and structures, such as the one that produced this picture.

In this image, the 16 rules describe how to build the structure rather than describing the location and characteristics of its branches and leaves. Besides generating elegant images, research in complex grammars can lead to more efficient and powerful techniques for computation.

The image was produced as a result of research on Information Visualisation at the UCL Interaction Centre.

 


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