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Felix Hofmann, Volker Berkhahn

Adjusting a tool for collaborative planning to requirements in practice - realisation of a client-server architecture

Abstract: The planning of projects in building engineering is a complex process which is characterized by a dy-namic composition and many modifications. For a computer-aided and network-based cooperation a formal description of the planning process is necessary. In the research project “Relational Process Modelling in Cooperative Building Planning” a hierarchical process model was defined and divided into three parts: an organisation structure, a building structure and a process structure. Furthermore, we implemented a prototype graph modelling tool in Java to build up the process model dynamically. Our tool includes functions to instantaneously check the structural correctness of the graphs. The usage of critical path and Petri net methods is possible. In our transfer project “Verification of a Tool for Co-operative Planning in Practice”, we currently use a practice building project to test our process model and the prototype implementation. With many engineers working on the process model in collaboration, our implementation needs a client-server architecture to allow distributed work. This architecture comes along with different types of problems: simultaneous work demands a real-time status and thus Cli-ent-Callback, for instance through firewalls. The separation of model and view is difficult, and finally concurrent modi-fications have to be prevented. In this context, problems and solutions are discussed.

Keywords: project management, process modelling, network based collaboration, client-server architecture

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Full text: content.pdf (198,106 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Hanser D, Halin G, Bignon J C

A hyperdocument representation of the project for a user-adaptive groupware

Abstract: This paper describes the representation of a project inside a groupware tool dedicated to heterogeneous and short-lived teams. With a few exceptions, the concurrent engineering tools taken from industry and services are not used in building projects. These tools transpose in computer terms existing situations with hierarchical rules. Therefore, these tools couldn't respect the strong autonomy, of the actors in the French building context. The solution, we propose, give a relational vision of the cooperation and of the interactions existing during the processes of conception-construction in architectural works. Our first interest point concerns the representation of the actors, the documents and the assignments as a relational network and not as a hierarchical tree, mostly used in the groupware tools. In a second point, we use this relational network to produce a hyperdocument representation of the project data. This hyperdocument representation gives an adaptive view of the project organization and evolution to each actor in order to display information related to him only.

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Full text: content.pdf (199,771 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.066546) class.roadmaps (0.021380) class.man-software (0.019065)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


Kenji Ito

An object-oriented pproject model approach for integrated information system in A/WC industry

Abstract: As clients' requests are becoming more diverse and extensive than ever, it is necessary to concentrate compony whole efforts and to fortify cooperation among different divisions in the A/E/C industry. In the past development of information systems, was basic focused on increasing efficency of particular domain tasks, and was not enough to respond current problems. Therefore, a new method of developing collaborative and integrated informaton systems is required to synthesize resources in order to achieve total efficiency. However, it is difficult to generate, share and maintain project data during the various phases of the A/E/C project life cycle from planning to design, construction and management of the facility. The project data needs to be stored, retrieved, manipulated, and updated by many project participants, each with his/her own view of the information. In order to realize the model description of an A/E/Cproject, such a project model should support both product-based description and process-based description. Therefore the author has been proposed an object- oriented project model (called PMAPM) supporting the multiple views that are required by various participants in A/E/C pojects, which is very important for integration of the A/E/C industry. The scope of this research is to establish an object-oriented project model supporting multiple views shared by various A/E/C project participants and provide several type of sub-product model for by computer-based systems using multiple views. The objective is the eventual development of an integrated system which includes activities from project planning through design, estimation, construction and facility management. The object-oriented project model is intended to link CAD systems, relational databases, knowledge-based expert systems and other conventional software. This paper describes the development, present status and future directions for PMAPM, an object-oriented project model designed to facilitate infonnation sharing along the paths through which workflows between project stages or specialists.

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Full text: content.pdf (280,489 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.029631) class.software development (0.026600) class.communication (0.020650)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


Koch C

The emergence of second generation knowledge management in engineering consulting

Abstract: Knowledge Management (KM) has matured in the sense that there is a widespread consensus that KM is much more than information systems. This contribution discusses how engineering consulting can transcend the first generation of relatively technical oriented support for knowledge management into integrating information systems and soft management tools such as organisation, training and office design. Utilising their respective strength in enabling knowledge production. Results from a study of an engineering consulting company, which has adopted a KM-strategy, are analysed. The first activities had a strong focus on IT. Later efforts however integrate the IT-component with a set of other tools. The experiences are discussed and two main conclusions drawn: First KM is enabled by a bundle of information systems as well as soft management tools. Second there is, in the bundled KM-strategies, still a relative overemphasis on "circumstantial" frames for knowledge production and too little focus on dynamics in knowledge producing processes, which in the engineering consulting company predominantly runs, in customer oriented projects, relatively decoupled from corporate management. The information system architecture might possibly need to continue to be bundled in a kind of forced best of breed strategy, since the construction industry operates with a strong element of temporary cooperation. Moreover it is characteristic that basic tools, such as spreadsheets, prove to be relatively powerful in supporting specific knowledge production. It is recom-mended to shape the second generation of knowledge management by focusing on communities of practices and their intersection in project pro-cesses. IT continues to play a balanced and synchronised role with other tools.

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Full text: content.pdf (72,102 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.017720) class.strategies (0.014695) class.software development (0.012093)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


Manfred Breit, Manfred Vogel, Fritz Ha_ubi, Fabian Ma_rki, Marco Soldati, La_szlo_ Istva_n Etesi, Nicky Hochmuth, Andreas Walther

ENHANCEMENT OF VIRTUAL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION METHODS

Abstract: In this paper we report about a three-tier applied R&D approach for the Enhancement of Virtual Design and Construction methods at the Institute of 4D Technologies UAS, North¬¬western Switzerland (i4Ds). In collaboration with the CAD vendor and developer cadwork informatik AG our research focuses on technology, its intro¬duction into the market the effects and difficulties of the tool use and the induced process changes. We will describe the methodlogy, the expected outcomes of the enhancements, the research approach, initial findings and the further proceedings.In the first tier cadworks introduces an intuitive integrated 4D modeler called (LexoCad or Baubit CAD) for contractors which is commercially available since one year. Analogue to playing with building blocks users create 3D building models and 4D phasing models for the construction of the building directly from 2D pdf drawings. The expected outcome are that the virtual building blocks serve as a test-bed for constructability analyzes, enhanced planning reliability, better coordination and communication, optimized procurement and wide-spread use in practice. The next two tiers of VDC enhancements are currently developed at i4Ds. For the second tier we introduce a semantic, flexible, database-backed, object-oriented data structure for hierarchically structured Product, Organization and Process models (POP models) with an enhanced intuitive 3D/4D graphical user interface for the rapid generation of design alternatives. Users can easily propagate information to related property sets of construction elements and assemblies. Behavior methods (scripts) can be assigned for a variety of tasks e.g. BOM creation, construction method modeling, creation of cost performance predictions etc. This approach technology-wise moves the model management from the modeler or viewer components to the data base domain. The flexible hierarchies not only allow users to manually restructure and rearrange the model to their needs but enable automatic AI optimizers to even alter the construction method e.g. timber element, precast concrete or masonry walls etc. The expected outcomes are a pro-active 4D planning, rapid generation, comparison and evaluation of POP- design- alternatives, derivation von case from existing designs, easy and effective integration of client information into POP models, creating performance predictions (quality, time, cost, risk, etc.) from this models, easy creation of 4D sub-models for knowledge transfer for inter-disciplinary cooperation.In the third tier we introduce a novel process design concept which we named Process Design Patterns (PDPs). They are based on Christopher Alexander's (1977) concept of design pattern as a formal way of documenting successful solutions to problems and as templates describing how to solve problems of a particular domain. In a study, we called Process Archeology, we chose a recently finished four storey residential concrete building and reconstructed and re-modeled the over-all building processes with an inter-disciplinary team. Therefore we created the necessary 3D-, 4D- and process- and organization- models with commercial available modeling tools. We were able to derive one generic and seven specific PDPs for the whole erection of the building. We describe a strategy to apply PDPs directly on 3D building information models (BIM) to automate and optimize the planning process.

Keywords: Virtual Design and Construction, 4D Modeling, Product, Process and Organization Modeling and Simulation, Process Design Patterns

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Full text: content.pdf (386,476 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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Miklós Molnár, Ronny Andersson, Anders Ekholm

Benefits of ICT in the construction industry – characterization of the present situation in house-building processes

Abstract: Departing from the hypothesis that R&D within ICT plays an essential role in the transformation of the construction sector from a traditional to an industrialised process, a joint Swedish and French project has been carried out (to be completed in April 2007) to assess the short and medium term possibilities to improve efficiency and quality in multi-storey house-building. This paper describes today’s use of ICT (situation as-is) in Swedish multi-storey house-building projects and identifies a number of key development areas. The research was carried out through steps includ-ing statistical analyses of market data, a case study, a survey with active developers working with R&D in the field of ICT and workshops with construction industry representatives and researchers. Typically, Swedish multi-storey house-building projects are carried out as isolated projects, involving 15 designers, 20 subcontractors and 40 material suppliers. Relations between most of the project participants are ad-hoc. ICT-use is regulated by the architect’s CAD manual regarding layer structures, routines for information exchange during design, use of a project network, hardware, software and filing. 2D CAD is the predominant design tool. ICT is widely used for administrative purposes, especially by the large contractors. Information transfer between participants in and between different stages of the project is inefficient and redundant information is created. Transfer of information is often car-ried out manually. Computer aided design, interoperability, virtual reality, cooperation and ICT-policies, the product definition process, use of systems products, quantity take-off and reuse of experience are identified as development areas where ICT can play an important role to improve productivity and quality. Highest potential to achieve improvement by immediate uptake is attributed by the survey persons to computer aided design, interoperability and reuse of experience. A time span of 2 - 5 years is needed to obtain benefits by more efficient cooperation and ICT-policies and rational quantity take-off.

Keywords: construction processes, house-building, industrialization, information and communication technology (ICT)

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Full text: content.pdf (192,338 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Mittrup I, Smarsly K, Hartmann D, Bettzieche V

An agent-based approach to dam monitoring

Abstract: Software agents - autonomous, mobile and intelligent software programs - provide all the necessary characteristics to innovate and accelerate the development of distributed applications. They represent powerful and robust software technology for implementing distributed collaborative work flows and complex interaction. Applying software agents, the Institute of Computational Engineering, in cooperation with the Ruhrverband (Ruhr River Association) is taking an innovative approach to develop a modern dam monitoring system, which is capable of supporting the collaborative work of experts involved in monitoring. While the conventional computer-based monitoring systems consider the remote monitoring, the presentation and the electronic transfer of measured data, the present agent-based approach is focusing the distributed work flow of data analysis and safety assessment. Consequently, the complete work flow of dam monitoring is mapped onto a multi-agent system: regularly performed tasks (e.g. measuring at the dam) are carried out by task-oriented agents. In addition, the involved human experts are assisted by personal agents, which allow a direct communication with the multiagent system and provide access to specific tasks. Associated with the known advantages of the agent technology, such as robustness and mobility, the introduced concept is a significant enhancement compared to conventional monitoring applications. The present paper gives a short introduction to dam monitoring, outlines the selected design of the agent-based dam monitoring system and provides an insight into the current implementation. It is to be pointed out that the realization is still incomplete and a matter of research.

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Series: w78:2003 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


Mohamed Nour, Berthold Firmenich, Torsten Richter, and Christian Koch

A Versioned IFC Database For Multi-Disciplinary Synchronous Cooperation

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Full text: content.pdf (934,213 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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P von Both, Schramm M

A knowledge-based co-operation model for process-oriented management of AEC-projects

Abstract: The aim of this contribution is to present the concept of a goal- and processoriented cooperation model for AEC projects, which permits a acquisition of the high dynamics of planning processes. The Model is based on the planning philosophy of integrated planning (IP), which pursues a life cycle oriented and holistic planning approach. Thereafter the different partial models - system of tasks and objectives, organization model and process model - are introduced. In addition there will be shown a corresponding implementation of the model in an Internet -based cooperation environment.

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Full text: content.pdf (407,312 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.113915) class.environment (0.022144) class.software development (0.019485)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


Rolf Katzenbach, Uwe Rüppel, Udo F. Meißner, Johannes Giere, Armin Wagenknecht

A Process-Oriented Cooperation Model For Distributed Civil Engineering Construction Works

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Full text: content.pdf (586,229 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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