Perceptual evaluation of space in virtual environments

Muhammad Usman, Brandon Haworth, Glen Berseth, Mubbasir Kapadia, Petros Faloutsos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Floor plan designs and their spatial analysis are typically constrained to blueprints and 2D projections of 3D models. Computing appropriate spatial measures from such representations provides a standard way of quantifying important aspects of the design. We wish to investigate whether a person’s perceptual exploration of a space would agree with such spatial measures, that is, whether a person can roughly infer such measures by exploring a space. We perform two studies, one involving novices and the other experts. First, we conduct a perceptual study to discover whether a novice user’s perception of spatial measures depends on the mode used to explore the space. Our analysis considers three spatial measures, grounded in Space-Syntax, that characterize key aspects of a design such as visibility, accessibility, and organization. We compare three modes of exploration: 2D blueprints, first-person view in a 3D simulation, and a 3D virtual reality simulation with teleportation. A correlation analysis between the users’ perceptual ratings and the spatial measures, indicates that virtual reality is the most effective of the three methods, while 2D blueprints and 3D first-person exploration often fail entirely to convey the spatial measures. In the second study, experts are asked to evaluate and rank the design blueprints for each measure. The expert observations are in strong agreement with the spatial measures for accessibility and organization, but not for visibility in some cases. This indicates that even experts have difficulty understanding spatial aspects of an architecture design from 2D blueprints alone.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - MIG 2017
Subtitle of host publicationMotion in Games
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450355414
StatePublished - 8 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event10th International Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2017 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 8 Nov 201710 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - MIG 2017: Motion in Games


Conference10th International Conference on Motion in Games, MIG 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery and Create programs.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).


  • Architecture
  • Navigation
  • Perceptual study
  • Spatial analysis
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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