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  1. Modeling and designing urban building layouts is of significant interest in computer vision, computer graphics, and urban applications. A building layout consists of a set of buildings in city blocks defined by a network of roads. We observe that building layouts are discrete structures, consisting of multiple rows of buildings of various shapes, and are amenable to skeletonization for mapping arbitrary city block shapes to a canonical form. Hence, we propose a fully automatic approach to building layout generation using graph attention networks. Our method generates realistic urban layouts given arbitrary road networks, and enables conditional generation based on learned priors. Our results, including user study, demonstrate superior performance as compared to prior layout generation networks, support arbitrary city block and varying building shapes as demonstrated by generating layouts for 28 large cities. 
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  2. Modeling and designing urban building layouts is of significant interest in computer vision, computer graphics, and urban applications. A building layout consists of a set of buildings in city blocks defined by a network of roads. We observe that building layouts are discrete structures, consisting of multiple rows of buildings of various shapes, and are amenable to skeletonization for mapping arbitrary city block shapes to a canonical form. Hence, we propose a fully automatic approach to building layout generation using graph attention networks. Our method generates realistic urban layouts given arbitrary road networks, and enables conditional generation based on learned priors. Our results, including user study, demonstrate superior performance as compared to prior layout generation networks, support arbitrary city block and varying building shapes as demonstrated by generating layouts for 28 large cities. 
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  3. Urban and environmental researchers seek to obtain building features (e.g., building shapes, counts, and areas) at large scales. However, blurriness, occlusions, and noise from prevailing satellite images severely hinder the performance of image segmentation, super-resolution, or deep-learning-based translation networks. In this article, we combine globally available satellite images and spatial geometric feature datasets to create a generative modeling framework that enables obtaining significantly improved accuracy in per-building feature estimation and the generation of visually plausible building footprints. Our approach is a novel design that compensates for the degradation present in satellite images by using a novel deep network setup that includes segmentation, generative modeling, and adversarial learning for instance-level building features. Our method has proven its robustness through large-scale prototypical experiments covering heterogeneous scenarios from dense urban to sparse rural. Results show better quality over advanced segmentation networks for urban and environmental planning, and show promise for future continental-scale urban applications. 
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  4. Abstract

    Herein, we introduce a novel methodology to generate urban morphometric parameters that takes advantage of deep neural networks and inverse modeling. We take the example of Chicago, USA, where the Urban Canopy Parameters (UCPs) available from the National Urban Database and Access Portal Tool (NUDAPT) are used as input to the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Next, the WRF simulations are carried out with Local Climate Zones (LCZs) as part of the World Urban Data Analysis and Portal Tools (WUDAPT) approach. Lastly, a third novel simulation, Digital Synthetic City (DSC), was undertaken where urban morphometry was generated using deep neural networks and inverse modeling, following which UCPs are re-calculated for the LCZs. The three experiments (NUDAPT, WUDAPT, and DSC) were compared against Mesowest observation stations. The results suggest that the introduction of LCZs improves the overall model simulation of urban air temperature. The DSC simulations yielded equal to or better results than the WUDAPT simulation. Furthermore, the change in the UCPs led to a notable difference in the simulated temperature gradients and wind speed within the urban region and the local convergence/divergence zones. These results provide the first successful implementation of the digital urban visualization dataset within an NWP system. This development now can lead the way for a more scalable and widespread ability to perform more accurate urban meteorological modeling and forecasting, especially in developing cities. Additionally, city planners will be able to generate synthetic cities and study their actual impact on the environment.

     
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  5. Image/sketch completion is a core task that addresses the problem of completing the missing regions of an image/sketch with realistic and semantically consistent content. We address one type of completion which is producing a tentative completion of an aerial view of the remnants of a building structure. The inference process may start with as little as 10% of the structure and thus is fundamentally pluralistic (e.g., multiple completions are possible). We present a novel pluralistic building contour completion framework. A feature suggestion component uses an entropy-based model to request information from the user for the next most informative location in the image. Then, an image completion component trained using self-supervision and procedurally-generated content produces a partial or full completion. In our synthetic and real-world experiments for archaeological sites in Turkey, with up to only 4 iterations, we complete building footprints having only 10-15% of the ancient structure initially visible. We also compare to various state-of-the-art methods and show our superior quantitative/qualitative performance. While we show results for archaeology, we anticipate our method can be used for restoring highly incomplete historical sketches and for modern day urban reconstruction despite occlusions. 
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