Through the Internet of things (IoT), as promoted by smart cities, there is an emergence of big data accentuating the use of artificial intelligence through various components of urban planning, management, and design. One such system is that of artificial neural networks (ANNs), a component of machine learning that boasts similitude with brain neurological networks and its functioning. However, the development of ANN was done in singular fashion, whereby processes are rendered in sequence in a unidimensional perspective, contrasting with the functions of the brain to which ANN boasts similitude, and in particular to the concept of neuroplasticity which encourages unique complex interactions in self-learning fashion, thereby encouraging more inclusive urban processes and render urban coherence. This paper takes inspiration from Christopher Alexander’s Nature of Order and dwells in the concept of complexity theory; it also proposes a theoretical model of how ANN can be rendered with the same plastic properties as brain neurological networks with multidimensional interactivity in the context of smart cities through the use of big data and its emerging complex networks. By doing so, this model caters to the creation of stronger, richer, and more complex patterns that support Alexander’s concept of “wholeness” through the connection of overlapping networks. This paper is aimed toward engineers with interdisciplinary interest looking at creating more complex and intricate ANN models, and toward urban planners and urban theorists working on the emerging contemporary concept of smart cities.
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