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Haksever A M

A model to predict the occurrence of information overload of project managers

Abstract: "This paper investigates information overload of construction project managers. The aim is to identify its occurrence pattern and predict the occurrence probabilities in a given circumstance, as a project manager’s information load is inconstant in nature, fluctuating over time, changing character and source. First, a conceptual definition of information overload is developed, using time as the criterion to describe information load. Information overload for a project manager is taken as occurring when the demands on information processing time exceed the supply of time. Second, the variation of information load throughout the project is structured using the interaction of a project manager with project members through the stages of a project. These two elements are combined in a matrix format where values for information overload are ascribed to cells representing the interaction with each member during each stage of the project. Six key project members, and four project stages are defined. To allow the subjective quantification of information overload, five practical situations of real life information overload are described, of which one must be chosen for each of the twenty four stage-member cells. To test the model and calculate the probabilities of information overload, data were collected using a questionnaire survey of 140 project managers in the UK. Respondents were asked to select the relevant situation for each cell in the matrix. The resulting matrices had a weighting system applied and a mean calculated for each circumstance to create an Information Load Point (ILP), presented in an Information Load Matrix (ILM). The application of ‘Ordinal Logistic Regression’ into the ILP scores provides a predictive outcome, which gives the probabilities of a project manager being in any of the predetermined five information overload situations at any stage with any member. The detailed account of the calculations and the outcome of the analysis are presented. The results revealed that the extent and sources of information overload of construction project managers vary throughout the stages of a project. The construction stage has the highest probability of information overload, followed by the design stage. The main sources of information overload are the project participants contributing the key expertise in each stage. In the design stage, the key contributors are architects and consultants, and in the construction stage, contractors and sub-contractors. Architects’ and consultants’ contributions to information overload show a similar pattern through the project duration, as do those of contractors and sub-contractors. This is the first of its kind in construction project management and provides an invaluable source of reference and guidance on the probabilities of the occurrence of information overload in a construction project. The model predicts the situations where information overload is high, moderate, low or non-existent. It is then possible to concentrate on those overloaded areas by using the appropriate means or strategies."

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Full text: content.pdf (393,534 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.016354) class.man-software (0.013484) class.impact (0.012353)
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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


Haque M E

3-D visualization and animation techniques in structural design education

Abstract: As technology rapidly changes, the importance of educating and training diverse populations of civil/construction engineering/science students becomes more critical. With the advances in information technology over the last decade, the traditional teaching format of having an individual lecture to an audience has been supplemented, and in some cases, replaced by the rapid development and implementation of new distance learning methods. Traditional lecture format teaching methods sometimes fall short of conveying the complex analysis and design principles that need to be mastered in structural design. However when the theories are exemplified in a virtual environment with multimedia, animation, interaction, and manipulated image visualization techniques, students' conceptual understanding are enhanced. The important advantages of the virtual reality environment over other computer-based design tools, are that it enables the user to interact with the simulation to conceptualize relations that are not apparent from a less dynamic representation, and to visualize models that are difficult to understand in other ways. The interactive nature of virtual environments made it a natural extension to the 3-D graphics that enable students to visualize real life structures before actually building them. The main objective of this research was to create an innovative structural design concept visualization methodology on a web-based interactive virtual environment. The approach adopted in this research was to create the interactive learning environment using Java and Virtual Reality Modeling Languages (VRML). VRML was the primary language used to create a virtual environment and 3-D simulation, and Java applets were created for interactive analysis, design and structural behavior animation over the World Wide Web (WWW). The presented paper illustrates the design concept visualization techniques for reinforced concrete structure analysis and design.

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Full text: content.pdf (446,018 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.analysis (0.062502) class.education (0.055487) class.man-software (0.034286)
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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.


Hartvig S C, Andersen T

Agents in an integrated system architecture

Abstract: This paper presents research findings from development of an expert system and its integration into an integrated environment. Expert systems has proven hard to integrate because of their interactive nature. A prototype environment was developed using new integration technologies, and research findings concerning the use of OLE technology to integrate stand alone applications are discussed. The prototype shows clear advantages of using OLE technology when developing integrated environments.

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Series: ecce:1997 (browse)
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I Mutis

Understanding collective intelligence of construction project actors within a social network technology

Abstract: The disjointed group of actors who team up to work on a project constitutes a collective entity that is represented by social networks. The advancement of social network technologies enhances the researcher’s ability to understand individual and collective actions in order to effectively solve problems, make decisions, enrich knowledge, and reach consensus. These technologies enable the interfacing of actors who belong to the project network in order to facilitate the execution of project activities in collaboration. Since the aggregation of either individual or collective actors’ actions constitutes project activities, this research investigates the nature of these actions within a project organization, defined as a social structure that is represented as a project network through a web-enabled social network system. The actions form and reveal patterns that are scrutinized as routines within the project organizations. Of particular interest to this research are the potential gains in the efficiency, profits, and effectiveness of satisfactorily executed routines as an aggregation of actions. Moreover, this new kind of collective intelligence allows for the exploration of how actions performed through a web-enabled social network system may collectively act more intelligently than they have done before. It is critical, therefore, to scientifically explore actions within web-enabled social network environments through the study of routines executed by (1) single actors and (2) the aggregate of single individual actors. For this purpose, we developed theoretical constructs as framework for collective intelligence. Articulated by human-centered actions, four main constructs are involved in the framework: (1) social actors and communities of practice, (2) social structures, or organizations, (3) social objects as forms of representation of information, and (4) web-enabled social network technology. Examples of expected benefits are the facilitation of group strategies to reach decisions and control of group performance.

Keywords: Collective-intelligence, social networks, routines, social actors, communities of practice.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Ibrahim, Manson; Jahnkassim, Puteri Shireen; Ali, Maisarah; Latip, Nurul Syala Abdul; and Abidin, NorZalifa Zainal

Virtual Reality in Heritage Studies and Historical Reconstruction through Animation – A Case Study of a 16th Century University Complex in the Ottoman World

Abstract: The paper describes the research and development of a virtual project based on the visualisation of measured architectural and construction details and extended research into a heritage building i.e. a 16th century Islamic complex undertaken as part of an architectural curriculum subject entitled ‘Heritage studies’. The modelling was focused on selected portions of the Suleymaniye complex in Istanbul Turkey, while the animation and storyboard integrated findings from a research extension of the project which looked at the link between the social structure of the city with the overall hierarchical nature of the architecture and planning of the complex. Virtual reality and animation tools were used within the process of analysing the architecture and construction technology within the background of the social structure of the Ottoman society during 15th and 16th centuries. The aim was not only to deepen constructional understanding but to discover the historical and social context which lay behind the development of its city life. The virtual reality dimension of the study focused on a virtual walkthrough and animation of the overall Suleymaniye complex and selected parts of the complex such as the madrasa and the ‘imaret’ or soup kitchen. The focus of the virtual walkthrough is the Süleymaniye Mosque which is surrounded by four medreses, a Darulhadis Medrese which had specialized in teaching Hadith, a medical school, a primary school, a hospital, a reflection hall, a caravanserai, shops, bath house, imaret (soup kitchen), caravanserai (inn), darussifa (hospital) or the hammam covering a 7.3 hectares wide area. Virtual reality was further used to enhance the story board based on the study on the link between the ‘waqf’ or pious foundations, and development of Ottoman urban life with the ultimate aim of linking these complexes to the social system and structure of urban society.

Keywords: Heritage Studies, virtual reality, visualization

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Full text: content.pdf (748,131 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2007 (browse)
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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-tor’s 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 participant’s 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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J Abel & K Lennerts

Where does CAFM really help? Current fields of application and future trends according to system users

Abstract: The possibilities of CAFM systems are multifarious and the system manufacturers are constantly drawing attention to these. The question is, however, what do customers actually need and which functions are being used. Karlsruhe University (TH) has therefore conducted a survey in order to determine the current situation regarding CAFM installations and the future needs of users. A mail survey was chosen as the means of data acquisition. A sample group of more than 100 CAFM users were asked to complete a standardized questionnaire. This questionnaire comprises approximately 50 questions, including questions of a factual nature, questions relating to specific knowledge and appraisal questions. The results of the survey give an overview of the current fields of application for CAFM systems and a trend for future fields of application in terms of user needs. It also shows whether CAFM is primarily used by building owners, occupants or operators. The reasons for introducing CAFM systems become evident, as well as the extent to which these needs have been fulfilled. An overall evaluation of the systems draws attention to the deficits and strengths of CAFM systems.

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Full text: content.pdf (252,552 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


J Haymaker

Formalizing and managing the dependencies between models

Abstract: AEC professionals need information models that are structured for their specific tasks. They also need to be able to control the integration of these models with the models of other professionals. In this paper I propose methods for formalizing and managing the dependencies between information models. Using these methods, an AEC professional constructs an information model, called a Perspective, and specifies the sources and nature of its dependency on other Perspectives. He specifies the nature of the dependency using a reasoning algorithm called a Perspector that describes the automated or manual reasoning needed to construct the dependent Perspective from its source Perspectives. He uses Management Processes to control the integration of the dependent Perspective as its source Perspectives are iteratively modified. AEC professionals apply this method repeatedly and collaboratively to compose and control directed acyclic graphs of Perspectives and their dependencies, called Narratives. Narratives provide a simple, formal, visual, flexible, distributed, yet collaborative way to construct and control the integration of multiple task-specific Perspectives. They are intended to help AEC professionals communicate, integrate, and automate multidisciplinary design processes and the information models used in these processes.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


J van Leeuwen, Hendricx A, Fridqvist S

Towards dynamic information modelling in architectural design

Abstract: Product modelling has received a lot of attention in the last decennium and is now growing into a successful means to support design and production processes, also in the area of building and construction. Collaboration through data exchange and model integration are coming within reach for all participants in the building process. However, the applicability of the current approaches in product modelling for architectural design is still very limited. It is the nature of architectural design to give much importance to issues such as uniqueness and diversity in relation with architectural style. Particularly in the earlier stages of the design process, not just technical but also cultural issues play an important role. Standardisation and predefined methodologies of design are not generally appreciated during early design, when ambiguity and a dynamic way of handling design information is often considered very important. The success of computer support for architectural design therefore depends on how well it supports ambiguity and a dynamic handling of design information. This criterion for successful design support systems seems to oppose the need for standardisation and classification that is felt so strongly in the later stages of the building process. The paper describes and discusses three long-term, independent research projects that are being carried out in three European universities: the BAS·CAAD project [1], the IDEA+ project [2], and the VR-DIS project [3]*. While their initiatives were independent and the developments are not formally related, these three projects show strong similarities in terms of objectives, conceptual approach, and methodology. The paper demonstrates that these parallel research projects are paving a new way for the development of design support systems, allowing architects to profit from the benefits of product modelling technologies and enabling integration of early design stages in the complex process of building design and construction. The common objectives of the projects are identified in detail. One of the major issues is schema evolution, or the necessity for a design model to be conceptually adaptable as design proceeds and more information is becoming available or design decisions are reversed. It is also recognised that no assumptions can be made about design methods, and that design information models must support, for instance, both spatial design and design that starts from building elements. Design concepts such as space and user activity play an important role in early design stages and must take a central role in design models as well. Approaches to achieve these objectives can be positioned in the force-field of two pairs of opposite characteristics of design information models. The first pair is (1a) maximum consistency and optimal data exchange through rigidly predefined typologies, versus (1b) maximum flexibility and extensibility of typologies in the conceptual schema. The second pair distinguishes approaches based on (2a) domain independent concepts from those based on (2b) specific domain concepts. The paper discusses the position in these force-fields of each of the three projects, which also clarifies their individual theoretic bases for information modelling. Although these theoretic bases are different in the three projects, common for all three is the object orientation of their approach and, more importantly, the effort to disconnect the identification of objects from the properties of objects. This appears to be an effective means to facilitate flexibility. Also common to the three projects, but elaborated very differently in each of them, is the capability of user-defined extensions to the conceptual schema. Both these issues of flexibility and extensibility are discussed in detail in the paper. Finally, the paper summarises the individual conclusions drawn in three PhD theses reporting intermediary and final results from the projects. This leads to the final discussion of the potentials of schema evolution for the integration of early design stages in the product modelling process. As a basis for the next generation of architectural design support tools, dynamic information models can be expected to deliver an important contribution to the rationalisation of architectural design and are an important next step in solving the conflict between computer tools and designers’ creativity.

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Full text: content.pdf (251,036 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.026635) class.communication (0.026053) class.represent (0.024858)
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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.


Jamieson M, Thorpe A

Refocusing collaboration technologies in the construction value chain

Abstract: Modern construction processes rely on the contributions of diverse functional specialists working in inter-organisational teams to design, cost, procure and manage modern construction projects. In the UK the Latham report has focused attention on eliminating the adversarial nature of the construction industry. Project specific partnering is one procurement route being taken by leading client and main contracting organisations to improve the interpersonal relationships of those organisations involved in the construction process. In order to support the cultural changes recommended by Latham, the necessary communications infrastructure must be put in place. As well as a high bandwidth communications infrastructure, commonly available collaborative tools must be used to allow disparate cross-functional virtual teams to exchange information.

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Full text: content.pdf (57,929 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.074068) class.collaboration (0.014037) class.social (0.013688)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Ljubljana. The assistance of the editor, Prof. Ziga Turk, is gratefully appreciated.


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