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Amor R, Turk Z, Hyvarinen J, Finne C

CONNET: a gateway to Europe's construction information

Abstract: "The EC funded project CONNET (Construction Information Service Network, at http://www.connet.org/) has developed a set of Internet-based information services for Europe. These services are linked through a European gateway for the construction industry which provides a ""virtual technology park"", accessible to the whole industry regardless of national boundaries. The gateway provides mechanisms to link all information services for the construction industry, and to establish national gateways to services which can then inter-operate across Europe. The CONNET consortium is moving to establish the existing services in all European nations, and to encourage further existing or planned information services to be linked. A suite of five Internet based services has initially been developed, comprising: a technical information centre; a waste exchange centre; manufactured product services; a calculation and software centre; and an electronic news service as described below: 1. The Technical Information Centre provides a single point of entry to locate technical information from quality providers, initially in the UK. The centre draws upon information held by the major publishers in the UK, with over 200 identified to link into the service. Once a publication is identified a user is able to place an order to purchase, or browse, the item. An automated notification service for users, based on their areas of interest, is also available as part of this centre. 2. The Waste Exchange Centre extends the current UK based system to better enable the disposal and reuse of site waste across organisations Nationally and in Europe. Availability of, and requests for, waste materials are automatically matched in order to broker greater reuse of materials. 3. The Manufactured Product Service enables Finnish and export-market users to identify manufactured products which match their design specification by incorporating product attributes into the selection system. Users are able to identify certified products and drag-and-drop CAD information into their designs. 4. The Calculation and Software Centre provides the European entry point for information on all software products available for the civil engineering domain (over 3,900 collated to date). Online demonstrations, online purchase, and even pay-per-use software is available. 5. The Electronic News Service enables members of the construction industry to register an interest in specific topics and to be notified of any Internet published news that matches their interest. The news sources are drawn from the main information providers and professional institutes in the industry, both within the UK and Internationally. Currently over 14,300 Internet sites have been identified and indexed for this service. This paper describes the infrastructure which has been developed for the European gateway and the benefits it can offer to linked services within a single nation, or across Europe. The virtual technology park infrastructure developed in CONNET provides for user identification, centralised user profiling and profile management, automated and periodic user profile servicing, classification system management and mapping, discussion groups, secure communication and service validation, etc. The way in which these technology park services are able to be used and adapted in independent, but linked, national services is highlighted in the paper. The five individual services are also described briefly, highlighting the benefits they offer to the European construction industry and the possibilities they offer in terms of ensuring national services are inter-operable across all of Europe."

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Full text: content.pdf (1,226,313 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.014414) class.communication (0.010000) class.man-software (0.007679)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by Icelandic Building Research Institute. The assistance of the editor, Mr. Gudni Gudnason, is gratefully appreciated


Anfas Thowfeek, Nashwan Dawood, Ramesh Marasini, John Dean

Industrial case study of innovative managerial control system applied to site control process (IMCS-CON)

Abstract: Construction projects are complex, fragmented and highly risk business, due to the nature of construction operations. Therefore project managers require more efficient techniques and tools to plan and monitor the construc-tion project. In recent years many research studies have been carried out in order to make construction industry more efficient, profitable and attractive business. The IMCS-CON developed as decision support system for project mangers to assist project-controlling processes using a holistic approach. The IMCS-CON provide a framework to measure, analyse, review, and report performance data and enabling project management team to make corrective decision and keep project on track. The IMCS-CON system was evaluated using a case study of £2.3 million, three-story residential apartment building project in UK. The IMCS-CON system utilises multivariate statistical process control techniques to monitor the construction site variables. The MSPC combines a large number of variables into few independent vari-ables, which then can be monitored and any process deviations from the normal operating conditions can be identified with corrective actions suggested. The IMCS-CON models on-site information as quantitative variables and uses his-torical data and establishes patterns of correlated variables and assists project management in making future decisions. The outputs can also be visualised in multi-dimensional graphs. Statistics of external variables and internal variables influencing construction site operations were identified using a real life case study. The results of modelling the vari-ables and conducting experiments with IMCS-CON are analysed and discussed in this paper.

Keywords: performance measurement, construction process variables, statistical process control, construction proc-ess benchmarking, construction process improvement, construction productivity

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Antonio Grilo, Ricardo Jardim-Goncalves, Adolfo Steiger-Garcao

A methodology using domain ontology and SOA for better interoperability in AEC mass customization

Abstract: Today, the OMG’s Model Driven Architecture (MDA) makes available an open approach to write specifi-cations and develop applications, separating the application and business functionality from the platform technology. As well, the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) establishes a software architectural concept that defines the use of services to support the requirements of software users, making them available as independent services accessible in a standardized way. Together, these two architectures seem to provide a suitable framework to improve construction company’s competitiveness through the adoption of a standard-based extended environment, challenging and enhanc-ing the interoperability between computer systems and applications in industry. Nevertheless, Domain Ontologies (DO) have been recognized more and more as a challenging mechanism to bridge knowledge. The paper, after illustrating the general motivations the construction companies have to adopt open architectures to achieve interoperability for extended and collaborative enterprise practices, presents the emerging model driven and service oriented architectures. Then, it describes an innovative methodology for better interoperability in AEC mass customization. The paper finishes with discussion and concluding remarks concerning the empirical results obtained from the pilot demonstrator.

Keywords: interoperability, mass customization, domain ontology, SOA, MDA

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Baldwin A N, Thorpe A, Carter C

An information exchange measurement matrix for construction organisations

Abstract: The successful introduction of electronic information exchange within and betweenconstruction organisations is dependent upon organisations being receptive to newtechnology. This is a business not a technology issue and a full understanding oforganisational aspects is imperative if electronic information exchange technologies are tobe successfully introduced. Moreover, unless organisations are aware of the changesrequired and participate positively in the process of change then new systems will not realize their full potential.Following consultation with the IT management of leading construction contractors thecritical factors relating to the successful introduction of electronic information exchangewere identified. These were divided into two categories: those factors independent of theapplication function; and process related factors. These factors are reviewed and presentedin a matrix. This is the Information Exchange Measurement Matrix a tool for organisationsto determine their progress towards the successful adoption of electronic commerce. Thetool is independent of the type of information exchange technology that is to be adopted.Organisations may use the matrix to establish their readiness for the introduction of newtechnologies. Consideration of how to move from one element of the matrix to anothergenerates the critical factors necessary to effect such change.

Keywords: Information Exchange, Electronic Commerce, Performance Monitoring,Integration

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Full text: content.pdf (64,071 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1997 (browse)
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Björk B-C, Löwnertz K, Kiviniemi A

ISO DIS 13567 - The Proposed International Standard for Structuring Layers in Computer Aided Building Design

Abstract: Layering is a widely used method for structuring data in CAD-models. During the last few years national standardisation organisations, professional associations, user groups for particular CAD-systems, individual companies etc. have issued numerous standards and guidelines for the naming and structuring of layers in building design. In order to increase the integration of CAD data in the industry as a whole ISO recently decided to define an international standard for layer usage. The resulting standard proposal, ISO 13567, is a rather complex framework standard which strives to be more of a union than the least common denominator of the capabilities of existing guidelines. A number of principles have been followed in the design of the proposal. The first one is the separation of the conceptual organisation of information (semantics) from the way this information is coded (syntax). The second one is orthogonality - the fact that many ways of classifying information are independent of each other and can be applied in combinations. The third overriding principle is the reuse of existing national or international standards whenever appropriate. The fourth principle allows users to apply well-defined subsets of the overall superset of possible layernames. This article describes the semantic organisation of the standard proposal as well as its default syntax. Important information categories deal with the party responsible for the information, the type of building element shown, whether a layer contains the direct graphical description of a building part or additional information needed in an output drawing etc. Non-mandatory information categories facilitate the structuring of information in rebuilding projects, use of layers for spatial grouping in large multi-storey projects, and storing multiple representations intended for different drawing scales in the same model. Pilot testing of ISO 13567 is currently being carried out in a number of countries which have been involved in the definition of the standard. In the article two implementations, which have been carried out independently in Sweden and Finland, are described. The article concludes with a discussion of the benefits and possible drawbacks of the standard. Incremental development within the industry, (where ”best practice” can become ”common practice” via a standard such as ISO 13567), is contrasted with the more idealistic scenario of building product models. The relationship between CAD-layering, document management product modelling and building element classification is also discussed.

Keywords: CAD-system, layering, standardisation

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1997/2 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1997 (browse)
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Cheung S O, Au-Yeung R F, Wong V W K

A CBR based dispute resolution process selection system

Abstract: In construction, the use of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to assist project management in the areas of planning, quantity measurement and quality control have been reported. A.I. can minimize subjectivity which would otherwise predominate in many management decisions, one of which is the selection of a method to resolve disputes. Disputes in construction are common and resolving them has become a daily routine of project managers. Despite its importance, the use of A.I. in dispute resolution has not been extensive. Employing an appropriate resolution process is critical to resolve construction disputes. This is because that having an appropriate resolution process should pave the path to success. In this type of selection exercise, previous experience is invaluable and thus fits nicely with the function of Case-Based Reasoning technique. Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) can systematically select a dispute resolution process to fit the circumstances of a case. This paper describes the development of a CBR based dispute resolution process selection system identified as CDRe. Forty eight cases were used to develop the system which was tested by another 9 independent cases. Seventy seven percent prediction accuracy for the testing set was achieved suggesting that the CDRe is a reasonable decision support tool for project managers.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, construction dispute resolution, case-based reasoning

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Christiansson P

Experiences from developing a buildingmaintenance knowledge node.

Abstract: The paper describes how technical building maintenance in the future can be effectivelycommunicated using Internet services. The research and development is done togetherwith the potential end users of the system (9 large building operations and maintenancefirms in Sweden). The national Swedish SERFIN , Maintenance ExperienceCommunication on Internet, project is described together with the philosophy behind thesystem, underlying models, and enabling technologies. The system under development is aknowledge node on the Internet where users independent of room and time can search forquality-marked information ,place questions and get answers back. The system alsocaptures knowledge within the area. The development work is supported by a workingarea and the in-house demonstrator development method. Both system and working areareside on the Internet. The latter are slowly transformed to an O&M area which supportsall the processes for knowledge handling and content quality assurance. Experiences andlessons learned as well as underlying system functionality and structure are reported.

Keywords: Knowledge communication, building maintenance, industry collaboration,collaborative work, multimedia, system design, World Wide Web, modelling.

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Full text: content.pdf (154,313 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1997 (browse)
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D Ilter

A SYSTEM OF SYSTEMS (SOS) APPROACH TO DISPUTE

Abstract: There has been an increasing attention towards more effective dispute avoidance and resolution in the construction industry due to the significance of the costs associated with disputes. Many researchers have attempted to develop systems that aim to manage disputes by providing dispute evaluation, negotiation support, litigation prediction and decision support through the use of various tools. Although these systems have been developed separately, a careful consideration shows that they can be incorporated into a meta-system that pools their resources and capacities to obtain more functionality and performance. This aim fits well with the System of Systems (SoS) approach, which includes incorporating a collection of independent and task-oriented systems into a new, more complex system offering more utility than the sum of the constituent systems. After analysing current dispute management systems in the literature, a framework has been developed for the integration of these systems by SoS approach. The primary objective of developing a SoS framework is modelling the opportunities of cooperation while maintaining independence of the constituent systems, and exploring new systems required in an evolving perspective for a holistic management of disputes in the construction domain. The findings reveal that SoS represents a structured and comprehensive approach to modelling dispute management systems as a networked meta-system. SoS approach provides mechanisms to analysing and classifying existing systems, modelling the opportunities of cooperation between the constituent systems, adding or subtracting systems to and from the system in evolution, and maintaining the same amount of management and resources as before with more precise results from each system. As a result, the effectiveness of the constituent systems is expected to increase due to interoperability and resource sharing in the SoS framework.

Keywords: Dispute resolution, Dispute management systems, System of systems (SoS) approach.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Divita E L, Fischer M, Kunz J

Integrating software services for preproject-planning

Abstract: Sharing computer models among project participants and their software applications (services) canimprove the quality and reduce the time to perform Pre-Project Planning (PPP) for construction projects.However, sharing knowledge and data among independent services for PPP requires a formal computerinterpretable vocabulary (ontology), and managing the automated interoperation of services requirescontrol architecture and reasoning mechanisms. This research extends PPP process modeling and CircleIntegration. To date, PPP process modeling has been limited to generic representations of the PPPprocess. We present a more formal representation of PPP variables and relationships from which the PPPworkflow process can be derived in real time while performing integrated and automated PPP. We refer tothe specification of PPP variables and relations as the PPP ontology. The PPP ontology provides afoundation from which developers of PPP software services can create PPP analysis services. Suchservices can be joined together in any combination and will work together to perform multi-disciplinaryPPP tasks. Circle integration is an architecture and methodology for integrating software services bylinking them together to form a unified analysis system. We extend circle integration architecture byautomatically relating services to each other at run time and by operationalizing circle integration controlmechanisms that plan, execute, and re-plan the PPP process at run time based upon the requirements ofthe set of services that happen to be connected to the system. In this paper, we describe the structure ofthe PPP ontology and the function of the circle integration mechanisms using a simplified example of golfresort development.

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Full text: content.pdf (111,716 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: ecce:2001 (browse)
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Engdahl S

Product identification systems for construction and facility management

Abstract: This paper presents a study of the concept of a common construction product identification system with a focus on the establishment of principles for its use within computer integrated construction and facility management processes. An analysis of current systems for product identification utilized within the Swedish sector of construction and facility management is presented in an addition with a discussion of the concept of object and class identification in information systems development. The study is a part of the industry doctorate research project ‘Product information in computer-integrated construction and facility management processes’, which aims at studying methods for handling product information and contribute to the development of computer based systems for product information management. A main hypothesis within this project is that an information platform enabling efficient integration of IT in handling construction product information is composed of an identification-, classification-, and an attribute system. These components should be mutually independent and implemented as sector wide standards. This study specifically deals with the first component, a common system for identification of construction products. During recent years an increasing amount of research has been dedicated to define methods to integrate and utilize information technology in handling the vast amount of information used, created and transferred within construction and facility management processes. In Sweden, the focus has been on classification systems and product models as central means for establishing a framework for information handling. A common system for product identification would in general facilitate handling of product information in computer integrated construction and facility management processes. Specific advantages would be to enable; - Dynamic invocation of distributed components (e.g. CORBA) representing the product via a link relation residing in a database connected to the Internet. - Direct product information retrieval in case of a present identifier on a product, catalogue page or advertisement. - Exactness in production follow-up, i.e. when consumed production resources are registered. A common system for product identification is considered to be relatively easy to define and implement in comparison with common standards for product classification, attributes and product models, since the latter ones are aspect dependent and involve numerous actors and divergent interests. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze current systems for product identification used within the Swedish sector of construction and to demonstrate the role of such systems in IT based environments for handling construction product information. The study shows that separate actors within the building process so far have developed systems for product identification without support for the process as a whole. Among the systems analyzed is EAN-13 regarded as most suitable since it is international, non-sector specific, in correspondence with a barcode standard for automatic data capture and has the widest propagation. However, the EAN-13 system, like the other systems, lacks explicit norms that guarantee valid identification in a historical perspective especially required for product information management within facility management processes. EAN-13’s main disadvantage in the construction context is its total focus on trade items, thus its deficient handling of standard product units, which is the common view for actors outside the sector of trading. The conclusion implies that a common system for product identification with characteristics of being international, non-sector specific, without property or class referencing attributes and with explicit criteria regarding changes of identifiers as a result of property alteration would be most advantageous and that such system is a central component in an information platform with means for achieving efficient utilization of IT. None of the systems in current use is featured with all these characteristics.

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Full text: content.pdf (527,797 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.020441) class.software-software (0.015031) class.bestPractise (0.012129)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by CSIR Building and Construction Technology. The assistance of the editors, Mr. Gustav Coetzee and Mr. Frances Boshoff, is gratefully appreciated.


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