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Ge X J, Lam K C, Cheung S O

Virtual soil laboratory: an exemplar of e-learning in construction

Abstract: Web-based teaching and learning have become increasingly popular, both for institutional and personal lifelong learning. Learning through the web enables students to structure their pace of study. In addition, the demand on resources such as educators? time and space can be reduced. The objective of the paper is to describe learning theory and how people learn through a constructivist approach. The paper also describes the development of a web based virtual soil laboratory and its realization, followed by highlighting the benefits of the system. It is concluded that the virtual laboratory is a supportive teaching aid and students have benefit from "learn how to learn" through constructivist approach of learning.

Keywords: virtual soil laboratory, constructivist approach, simulation, web-based teaching and learning

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Lam, Selina; Kinayoglu, Gokce; and Kim, Seung Wook

Agents for Multi-User Virtual Environment (MUVE)

Abstract: Virtual user simulation has been used to simulate and predict the “average” user’s response to built environments. However, autonomous agents are seldom used in gaming environments. This is probably to ensure control over the game narrative. Also, the complexity in defining behavioural patterns tailored for the storyboard and the computing resources required make it difficult to incorporate autonomous agents in game environments. In this paper, we address the implementation of autonomous agents in a multi-user virtual environment designed as a game. Instead of the traditionally-used goals and behavioural rules to govern the behaviours of the agents, we used another mechanism, the switch-nodes. Switch-nodes are location-based triggers to control the behaviours of the agents. The nodes could trigger an action, a series of actions, an animation or a mixture of actions and animations. However, as the node system does not prevent conflicts or unreasonable behaviour in the environment, we experienced some challenges even for a narrow range of behavioural needs. Though so, with proper adjustments, careful planning and some creativity, we are able to achieve a “naturally appealing” behavioural pattern without negatively affecting the performance of the overall gaming environment.

Keywords: agents, virtual user, multi-user virtual environment, autonomous

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Series: convr:2007 (browse)
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Mahdavi A, Lam K P

A dialectic of process and tool: knowledge transfer and decision-making strategies in the building delivery process

Abstract: The building delivery process has traditionally been regarded as a discrete and sequential set of activities. This state of affairs is the result of a historical evolution driven by many factors, one of which might be the necessity to organize the activities for the purpose of establishing a professional fee structure that is commensurate with the scope of work and level of accountability or responsibility. However, within the context of rapid changing technologies, production processes as well as knowledge explosion, the existing framework no longer seems effective or capable of meeting the increasingly complex demands associated with the creation of the built environment. The capabilities of decision support tools are expanding but they still fall short of anticipating or challenging the very logic of the rather static processes they are supposed to support, This paper examines the necessary conditions under which significant structural changes in the building delivery process can evolve and the related implications for future development of decision support tools. It also explores hidden potentials of existing tools and propose enhancements to facilitate effective knowledge transfer and process management.

Keywords: building delivery process; computer-aided design support tools; knowledge transfer; adaptive-iterative approach; tradition and innovation

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


Mei Lam Tam and William H.K. Lam

Application Of Information Technologies For Development Of Real-Time Traveler Information System In Hong Kong

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Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Vipul Singhvi, James Garrett, Scott Matthews, Guestrin, Khee Poh Lam

Utility Based Decision Making In Building Infrastructure

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