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August 10, 2012 / jeroencoenders

Methods in NetworkedDesign (Part 2)

Methods in action

In the last post we covered the first Method type, Definition Methods, and we looked at how we could define Objects and Properties on these Objects through Methods. In this post, part 2, we continue to talk about other method types. We saw in the last post that a Definition Method can be used to add a definition (or multiple) to an object. By selecting a definition method and attaching an object the system assumes that the object can be defined by this method and the user can specify the exact details of this definition by expression of property values. These property values are attached to instances of the properties on the object that come with the method. We have also seen that these values can be primitives (number, text, etc) but also relationships to other properties or objects. In this way we are able to express inputs as a ‘derivative’ of inputs of other objects. Please note that it is up to the solver (explained in a later post) how these relationships are interpreted.

So, for now and simply speaking, we can say that definition methods add properties to an object and the user can specify the values of these properties. But what if we want the system to do something with these inputs? Or create an output on an object? That is where Calculation Methods come in.

Calculation Methods

Calculation methods are methods that do not take any input, but calculate an output based on properties of an object. For example a line in 3D space has a length we can calculate based on the coordinates of the start- and endpoint of the line. We would use the LengthCalculationMethod for this. How this length is calculated is specified in the code of the method. I will cover at a later stage how to manipulate this in posts about how the APIs of NetworkedDesign work and how you can define methods by coding. When you apply a Calculation Method the user has to specify the object it applies to. The method will check for the availability of properties it requires and will automatically create additional properties it calculates. It also creates relationships to the object. Every time the object gets updated (it’s properties), the calculation will rerun.

This was it for now. Next time, I’ll cover one more method type: Transformation Methods. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Regards,
Jeroen

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