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Andresen J L

Cost and benefit assessments of IT systems in the construction industry

Abstract: This paper presents the results of four case studies that focus on cost and benefit assessments of IT systems in the Danish construction industry. The primary objectives in the case studies have been to (a) explore the difficulties with evaluating IT systems in the construction industry, (b) complete evaluations on particular IT systems in companies from the construction industry using four different IT evaluation methodologies and, ultimately, (c) develop a framework for how to select an IT evaluation method in different IT evaluation situations. The case studies are conducted as a part of a three-year Ph.D. project in order to collect the necessary data to fulfil the objectives stated in the Ph.D. project. The overall objective of the Ph.D. project is how to improve the knowledge and use of IT systems in the construction industry. To achieve this aim the Ph.D. project focuses on how construction companies can increase their knowledge about costs and benefits in their different IT applications by evaluating future IT investments and current IT systems. Specifically, the Ph.D. project focuses on developing a framework for how to select an appropriate IT evaluation method among the many available methods. Earlier in the Ph.D. project a questionnaire survey was completed analysing the current state (1999) of IT evaluation practices in the Danish construction industry. In the four case studies the following IT systems were evaluated: · An electronic document management system called Documentum · Upgrading AutoCad 14 to AutoCad 2000 · Two different ProjectWeb systems The case studies are completed in collaboration with four Danish [RH1] companies based on IT evaluation situations identified in the companies. The construction companies in the case studies comprise three large consulting engineers (Rambøll, Cowi and NIRAS) and one large contractor (Højgaard and Schultz). In each case the IT evaluation situation is identified and described in detail. Four different IT evaluation methods, each representing a larger group of IT evaluation methods, have been used and these are: · Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation (developed by Construct IT in UK) · Information Economics (developed by M. M. Parker and R. J. Benson) · Net Present Value (unknown origin) · Critical Success Factors (J. Rockart) The case studies provide some hard data on the costs and benefits (both quantitative and qualitative) of the evaluated IT systems. The collected data can be used to create the basis for comparison in other similar cases (although one has to be aware that the data are very context dependent) and the result of the IT evaluations is in itself very interesting. Perhaps more interesting is the data collected about the IT evaluation process. This comprises, among other things, data on the usefulness of the evaluation methods in each of the IT evaluation situations and the identified strengths and weaknesses of the four IT evaluation methods. Lastly the four case studies are compared with some case studies conducted in UK during a six months stay at the University of Salford. The case studies in the UK were conducted in collaboration with another Ph.D. student, Nick Bunyan, on some large contractors (Costain, Alfred McAlpine and Taylor Woodrow). The case studies in the UK were using the IT evaluation method “Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation”. This enables an international comparison between UK and Denmark to be carried out.

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Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.028296) class.economic (0.020015) class.store (0.013421)
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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.


B Firmenich, C Koch, T Richter & D G Beer

Versioning structured object sets using text based Version Control Systems

Abstract: With the availability of an affordable and ubiquitous network environment the distributed cooperation of projects can be supported by computer software. Currently, the degree of support of a distributed cooperation is very different in the diverse classes of applications. While in the field of text-based applications the synchronous distributed cooperation is already state-of-the-art, the users of document-based applications can currently only cooperate asynchronously in terms of a workflow by exchanging documents. This contribution describes a solution approach for the re-use of existing document-oriented applications in net-distributed processes. The synchronous cooperation is realized by a novel procedure that stores the structured object sets of existing single user applications in version control systems, where the well proven tools of the software configuration process can be used in distributed construction planning processes as well.

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


Daniel G. Beer, Berthold Firmenich, and Karl E. Beucke

A System Architecture For Net-Distributed Applications In Civil Engineering

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Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Delic D

Design of structural elements by use of expert networks

Abstract: Shown are three nets. As the first, shown is an example of evaluating a classic rule based expert system to an expert network by replacing one of its knowledge base searching module with a neural network. The second net is used to describe a behavior model of compound steekoncrete columns. Following the design procedure of the DIN 18800 part two, and using just a selected part of data tables for columns design presented as the input data for neural network , the author succeed to organize the design process by neural network only. The rules in the expert system are used for design flow controlling. The third net is not an expert network. It is a neural network combined with PASCAL codes, but should be embedded into an expert system. The work is dealing with problems of variably Input energy control into structural systems (smart bridges) depending on the monitored generated incoming (traffic) loading.

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Series: ecce:1997 (browse)
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F Schley & K-P Holz

Multilevel information management in geotechnical engineering

Abstract: A generalized approach is described aiming at the integrated management of heterogeneous information in geotechnical engineering. The generalized architecture of a possible hybrid management system joins two approaches operating on different levels of information integration. This paper analyzes both kinds of systems. In particular notice will be given to the components of a strictly integrated management system for geotechnical engineering, following the demands of time-critical information management. Elements supporting presentation of all kinds of information as well as tools supporting net-based cooperation will be considered. The aspect of demands and potential for ICT support in construction engineering is briefly touched.

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


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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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Franklyn Chukwunonso

TECHNOLOGY IN THE INFORMATION AGE: ITS IMPACT ON DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Abstract: The 21st century is on the doorstep, and the Information Revolution is firmly knocking at the door. In the high-technology revolution of the 1990s, computers, television, the Internet, and allied information technologies (IT) are changing our lives, just as steam power, electricity, and the internal combustion engine transformed our lives in the past. Today, the emphasis is on information gathering, processing and distribution. It is expected that the 21st century will be dominated by IT and allied technologies, as Spyros Makidakis predicted.

Keywords: Technology, Information Age, Impact, Developing Countries

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Franklyn Chukwunonso

THE CHALLENGES OF SCHOOL EDUCATION IN AN INFORMATION SOCIETY: A GLIMPSE ON AFRICA

Abstract: Africa has always suffered from a shortage of university places. A new Internet-based scheme could be the answer (Gray, 2000). This is the next best thing to traditional classroom instruction (George, 2000). According to professor George Eshiwani, vice chancellor of Nairobi’s Kenyatta University, powered by modern technology, this new service will provide world-class education and training programmes to people across Africa.

Keywords: Challenges, Information, Technology, School, Education, Society, Africa, University

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Franklyn Chukwunonso

AFRICA IN CYBERCAFE

Abstract: The Internet has changed the world. Ask ten people what they love about the Internet and you will get ten different answers – e-mail, web surfing, entertainment, education, shopping, music, T.V., travel, online banking, chat. The list is endless. But terms like modem, browser, and portal can be daunting. There may be an estimated 800 million people using the Internet today, but that still leaves the vast majority of the world’s population unaware of the joys of cyberspace. So how difficult is it to log-on, tune in and download. This paper will attempt to answer questions such as “The Internet: what it is, how it works and what it promises for the future.

Keywords: Africa, Cyberspace, Internet, WWW

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Franklyn Chukwunonso

THE CHALLENGES OF SCHOOL EDUCATION IN AN INFORMATION SOCIETY

Abstract: The difficulty in understanding the future implications of new technologies in society is seen in the growth of the internet throughout the world, and in particular, in schools. As factors such as convergence, increased bandwidth, "edutainment", multitasking and changes to traditional socialization modify everyday life. There is a corresponding need to consider the ways in which emerging practises and beliefs challenge traditional assumptions about the nature of school education. Although schools are by nature conservative and can be resistant to reform, the collective influence of an increase in the number of networked computers, improved teacher training, and the impetus of a transformed culture in a wide society are likely to lead to a reconsideration of the nature of schooling

Keywords: Challenges, school, school education, university education, information, society, information technology, technology, information society

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