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Flood, Ian; Issa, Raja R.A.; Mutis, Ivan

A Virtual Reality Interpreter for Aiding the Reconciliation of Construction Concepts

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Series: convr:2006 (browse)
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Ivan Mutis, Jose Solis

FLOORBOOK: A Social Network System to Enable Effective Interfacing of Project Actors

Abstract: Construction project participants constitute a complex social human network composed of a heterogeneous and fragmented set of stakeholders. The disjoint group of actors that team to work on a project constitutes collective entities, social networks at different scales in time and space. The proposed social network system is a semantic resource that leverages the communication and coordination of exchanging and sharing information. It is expected that it will enable an improvement in efficiency of the interfacing of actors and information. This semantic resource helps actors to minimize human intervention for coordination and information searching and retrieval, which are activities that demand costly resources and the use of specialized labor. Floorbook analyzes the vocabulary of the annotations on the forms of representation used in construction documentation, categorizes and models communities according to the user’s role in the shared form of representation, and makes suggestions to the users to optimize their particular world view, so that the suggested annotation is more precise and personalized. The basic rational of the approach is that the position of the users in a social network impacts their use in the system, and that the content of the annotations are part of a categorization model of a specific domain. The proposed social network system works as an effort of collective intelligence that enables the sharing of the semantics of the tags that are associated with the representations. As an effort of collective intelligence, Floorbook (1) models and extracts semantics from informal communication; (2) categorizes and models communities defined by common interests; and (3) self-learns from the history of user actions in the system to enable new value-added services, such as, for example, suggesting new candidate semantic tags as a result of the analysis of the representations to optimize the particular world view of an individual user.

Keywords: social-networking, communication, collaboration, emerging semantics

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Ivan Mutis, Raja R.A. Issa and Ian Flood

Semantic Structures For Construction Concept Interpretations

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Ivan Mutis, Raja R.A. Issa and Ian Flood

Conceptualization Of Construction Industry Organizatons Via Ontological Analysis

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Ivan Mutis, Raja R.A. Issa, Ian Flood

Missing fundamental stratum of the current forms of the representation of concepts in construction

Abstract: The generation of concepts in the construction industry involves the interpretation of syntactically defined symbolic notations, such as logic, frames, semantic networks, natural language, and of other forms such as visual rep-resentations. These notations are deliberately organized to define concepts. Models as forms of representations are based on symbols that are aimed at referring to some entities of the world with properties and relations apprehended within them. Models involve grouping a set of relations, which characterize concepts, with the purpose of sharing and understanding these concepts by members of the community. However, models suffer the limitations that logic and the symbolic notations bear, because they cannot capture the richness of the phenomena of the world in their syntactic no-tation nor other intentionality features. Other forms of representations such as visual representations suffer the same limitations. An analysis of the nature of the representations employed in the construction industry suggests the inclusion of the ac-torís role in a new stratum for generating representations of construction concepts. This actor, who manipulates or generates the representation for communicating concepts, is committed to the intentionality aspects of the represented concept that are not captured in current forms of the representation. The inclusion of these and other phenomenological aspects concerning the nature of the representation are intended to generate representations for accurate interpreta-tions. The modus operandi with these representations indicates a subsequent interpretation by other actors or project participants. The inclusion of this stratum promises a significant progress in creating efficiency in interoperability on construction projects. The assumption is that the representations are cognitive manifestations of common, shared con-cepts employed by the construction industry community. This analysis is supported and developed through the semiotic theory which addresses the nature of the representations through signs and the role of agents with the representations and with the external physical domain. This study attempts to approximate semiotics as an experience that illustrates the reasoning process from external rep-resentations and the role of intentionality in employing external representations. This experience inquires about the form of the correspondence of the perceived, entity, event, and relations, or, in other words, a correspondence of a phe-nomenon in the world with the concept in the construction participantís mind. In addition, the purpose of this experi-ence is to provide direction to the method of how semantics aspects should be understood to give interpretations for concepts employed in the construction industry.

Keywords: semiotics, construction concepts, representations, interpretation

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Ivan Mutis, Raja R.A. Issa

THE INTEROPERABILITY ACT FOR EMCOMPASING SEMANTICS IN CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS

Abstract: Actors generate, share, and ultimately communicate information with other construction project actors. The content of this information is described within construction documents such as drawings, schedules, and specifications. Poor understanding of the content of the documents has been a factor in the escalation of construction project complexity. The result is a lack of efficiency in the communication that has been documented as failures to interoperate among actors during any construction process. As a consequence, actors need to employ additional resources for aiding the understanding of the shared information therefore significantly raising costs and reducing project productivity. Current research efforts are aimed at aiding interoperability by sharing common vocabulary and models among project actors. These efforts have been addressed through the development of common, shared models and construction industry standards. The objective is that multiple construction participants ultimately recognize the shared models and set a universal language. The implementation and use of the models and the common vocabulary provides the possibility of reusing the information within the construction documents by project actors. However, the industry has failed to adopt the commonly shared models and the universal language to effectively share information. The assumption in the construction industry is that the creation of an a priori consensus over the content of what is described within the information is a condition for interoperability. This paper questions this assumption by diverging into another paradigm, the semantics of the represented information. As an alternative, our research focuses on the semantic paradigm. We move away from the attempts to find consensus through common vocabulary and shared models to new methods that benefit from precise meanings. Our assumption is that strategies for exchanging, sharing, and integrating information will not reduce the lack of full automatic interoperability without working first on strategies for understanding the information from other sources.One of the steps proposed here towards this paradigm is the interpretation of the represented information by other construction actors. Our research explores the relationship between the represented information and the interpreter. For this purpose, a parallel of the interpretation of shared information has been made through the Speech Act Theory (Searle 1969). The objective is to understand what background information is pertinent to the conversation and what assumptions and inferences are needed to capture the intended meaning within the expressed utterance in order to parallel the speech act with the shared represented information between two construction participants. This research proposes the interoperability act concept for construction documents. The significant implications of this effort are the characterization of the interoperability act with the purpose of developing new forms of representing semantics within the construction documents, which provide a method to successfully share and communicate information.

Keywords: Interoperability act, construction concepts, interoperability actions, forms of representation

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Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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Ivan Panushev, Charles Eastman, Rafael Sacks, Manu Venugopal, Vahideh Aram

Development Of The National BIM Standard (NBIMS) For Precast/Prestressed Concrete

Abstract: Part 1 of the National BIM Standard (NBIMS) lays out the generic guidelines for developing specialized model views, defined in terms of industry foundation classes (IFC), for various exchanges. These model views are typically applicable to specific design or construction processes, or specific construction technologies. Various efforts have begun to develop such specialized model views. One of these pioneering projects has completed a model view definition for the planning, design, documentation, construction and fabrication phases of precast/prestressed concrete construction. In doing so our team had to deal with a range of issues stemming from the breadth and depth of the information exchanges. This paper presents the challenges experienced in compiling a BIM standard for precast/prestressed concrete. We discuss acquiring exchange requirements (ERs) from a diverse set of industry participants, rationalizing and formalizing them into information delivery manual (IDM), and finally developing model view definitions (MVDs) with specific IFC implementations that respond to the initial requirements. The model views are defined using information ‚Äúconcepts‚ÄĚ. Each concept is then detailed with IFC 2x4 entities and relationships, which rigorously define how the concepts are to be implemented in ISO STEP EXPRESS-language functions. We propose several approaches for dealing with the breadth and the depth of information exchanges during the IDM and MVD development that allow for logical breakdown of the processes and the data types. Additionally we examine specific challenges that pertain to the fabrication and construction of precast concrete. We generalize the lessons learned in three different categories according to the NBIMS process phases: requirements development, model view definitions and implementation specifications.

Keywords: National BIM Standard (NBIMS), Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), Model View Definitions (MVD), Information Delivery Manual (IDM), Product Modeling, Process Modeling.

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Ivan S. Panushev, Spiro N. Pollalis, Dawn Korbelak

Managing design options with building information modeling

Abstract: Building Information Modeling (BIM) proves to be an effective approach for managing design options in a product line, as shown in the case study of K. HovnanianHomes. The business strategy of a production homebuilder is to maintain a series of design options to satisfy a wide spectrum of needs of its customers. The logistics of handling a large number of design options are quite complex as well as making sure that the selected options are compatible to each other. The introduction of BIM has significantly enhanced the management of the process and the options offered as well as streamlined the overall design flow. This research has two primary purposes: first, to formalize the generic process of generating and managing design op-tions with BIM, and second, to improve its implementation by describing and analyzing current building modeling prac-tices.

Keywords: building information modeling, design options, BIM implementation, design management

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Ivan S. Panushev, Spiro N. Pollalis

A Framework For Delivery Of Integrated Building Information Modeling

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Manu Venugopal, Charles Eastman, Rafael Sacks, Ivan Panushev, Vahideh Aram

Engineering Semantics of Model Views for Building Information Model Exchanges Using IFC

Abstract: The data schema of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema is generic, designed to support the full range of model exchanges needed in the construction industry. While it has a rich ontology of building part entities and relationships, it does not impose any fixed structure on the ways in which entities should be aggregated or represented, with the exception of the project-building-space containment hierarchy. Thus the IFC model, in and of it-self, is inadequate for ensuring interoperability between software applications. For any given set of use cases for a sub-domain of building construction, a set of model view definitions (MVD) is required to specify exactly what information should be exchanged, and in what form and structure the IFC entities are to be used. Compiling a model view definition, presently based on human intuition of industry knowledge, is challenging. What should be the level of detail to be included in case of geometry, classification and aggregations, and parts and relationships etc.? IFC, which is based on STEP and is represented in EXPRESS language, is known to be good in expressivity but lacks in a formal definition of its concepts. Thus in preparing a set of MVDs, information modellers must determine the appropriate level of meaning to require and they must define the typing structure to be used. If the structure is too simple, the exchanges will only have value for importing software able to apply some level of expert knowledge to interpret the information. If it is too rigid, then it will only be appropriate for a narrow range of use case exchanges and a large number of model view definitions will be required, which also implies that software companies will need to prepare multiple export and import routines. This paper discusses the spectrum of possibilities, using examples from concrete construction in general and precast concrete construction in particular.

Keywords: Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), Model View Definitions (MVD), National BIM Standard (NBIMS), Product Modeling, Process Modeling

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