PATEX: Exploring pattern variations

Paul Guerrero, Gilbert Bernstein, Wilmot Li, Niloy J. Mitra

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Patterns play a central role in 2D graphic design. A critical step in the design of patterns is evaluating multiple design alternatives. Exploring these alternatives with existing tools is challenging because most tools force users to work with a single fixed representation of the pattern that encodes a specific set of geometric relationships between pattern elements. However, for most patterns, there are many different interpretations of its regularity that correspond to different design variations. The exponential nature of this variation space makes the problem of finding all variations intractable. We present a method called PATEX to characterize and efficiently identify distinct and valid pattern variations, allowing users to directly navigate the variation space. Technically, we propose a novel linear approximation to handle the complexity of the problem and efficiently enumerate suitable pattern variations under proposed element movements. We also present two pattern editing interfaces that expose the detected pattern variations as suggested edits to the user. We show a diverse collection of pattern edits and variations created with PATEX. The results from our user study indicate that our suggested variations can be useful and inspirational for typical pattern editing tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbera48
JournalACM transactions on graphics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 11 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventACM SIGGRAPH 2016 - Anaheim, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2016Jul 28 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).


  • Arrangements
  • Design space exploration
  • Design tools
  • Patterns
  • Variations
  • Vector graphics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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