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A. Gehre, P. Katranuschkov, R. J. Scherer

Managing virtual organization processes by semantic web ontologies

Abstract: Interoperability within Virtual Organisations (VOs) is still only weakly supported by IT frameworks. Whilst service level interoperability has made remarkable progress since the emergence and the rapid growth of SOA and Grid technology in the last years, business processes – which are the driving force of each VO – still suffer distinct conceptual gaps regarding their decomposition to technical transactions. There exists no detailed approach that would allow describing technical as well as business aspects in a coherent yet flexible and extensible way. This paper presents a newly developed semantic framework that targets this requirement. The conceptual background is followed by an introduction of the developed semantic web ontologies. Based on these definitions, dedicated Ontology Services as well as a set of related end-user applications facilitating semantic technology have been designed and implemented. They are presented in the second part of the paper. Reported are results from the EU project InteliGrid (IST-004664; 2004-2007).

Keywords: semantic web, ontologies, virtual organisation, process modelling, process management

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Full text: content.pdf (973,369 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Amirante I

Information technology teaching at the University: an experience at the Faculty of Architecture in Naples

Abstract: The experiences illustrated here refer to didactic activity carried out at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Naples; in particular these concentrate on the technological aspects of the teaching of architecture. We can consider the evolution of the architect from individual operator to manager of the multi-disciplinary aspects of the building process (building process manager) as a reality in today's Italy. The Support Systems of Information Technology (ITSS), can be of great importance €or this professional figure, and for this reason it is important to include him/her in the teaching process. I personally have involved fourth and fifth year and last-year undergraduate students in the following subjects at the experimental stage: degradation diagnosis supported by m Expert System in courses of the Technology of Building Rehabilitation; co-ordinated System of tests in degradation of existing buildings; the use of three-dimensional programmes to survey and visualize rhe territory; rapid analysis of degradation in the maintenance of urban facades. * In these and other similar works I'TSS has played a significant part for a global synthesis in students' methodological approaches, being an inttoduc tion to new Information Technology potentialities.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,158,179 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.036539) class.analysis (0.018067) class.synthesis (0.015849)
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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.


Aouad G, Cooper R, Kagioglou M, Hinks J, Sexton M

A synchronised process/IT model to support the co- maturation of processes and IT in the construction sector

Abstract: In recent years many efforts had taken place in order to develop process and IT maps within the construction sector. However, the subject of co-maturation between IT and the process has not been given enough attention. This has resulted in the development of impractical solutions because of an apparent lack of balance between the IT and process capabilities. For instance, some organisations in the construction sector have adopted the rapid prototyping concept which is widely used within the manufacturing sector without even investing in 3D modelling and VR technologies which are the most appropriate for this task. Paradoxically, some organisations have invested in these technologies, but rapid prototyping is non existent. This paper addresses the issue of co-maturation between the process and IT in order to establish a balanced profile. The work is based on the CMM (Capability Maturity Model) model which was developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in order to develop software for the US government, particularly to be used by the Department of Defence. The CMM is a five-level model which include ad-hoc, repeatable, defined, managed and optimised stages. The model is designed so that capabilities at lower stages provide progressively stronger foundations for higher stages, reducing the change management risks. Each development stage - or "maturity level" distinguishes an organisation’s process or IT capability. This paper builds on the work achieved within the generic design and construction process protocol (GDCPP) which is being undertaken at the university of Salford. The main contribution of this paper is a conceptual model of co-maturation between IT and process. A synchorised IT/process model will be presented and discussed. This model is being developed through knowledge obtained form the industrial collaborators of the GDCPP project.

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Full text: content.pdf (120,604 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.029904) class.processing (0.022049) class.impact (0.010457)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Brochner J

Construction process improvements in market networks

Abstract: Most construction projects are carried out in market networks with several design and production firms involved. It is unlikely that the use of information technology (IT) will proceed at an even pace in firms. A vital task in coordinating the construction process is therefore to bridge technology gaps between firms. The analytical framework for this investigation is derived from the theory of transaction costs, with focus on how network participants perceive incentives for sharing and preserving project information. Issues such as information feedback from later to earlier stages of the process and professional liability for information provided are dealt with in this context. The main points are illustrated by results from recent and ongoing Swedish R&D projects within the field. Emphasis on IT use at the client/designer interface and at the construction site interface is expected to grow. Improved digital telecommunications for rapid transmission of graphics with attached databases are seen as a development with far-reaching consequences for efficiency in the construction process.

Keywords: construction process; networks; transaction costs; design feedback; Swedish construction

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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.


C Argiolas, F Melis, E Quaquero

Knowledge management in building process

Abstract: Over the last few years, the management and organizational aspects of the construction process have undergone a profound reflection that is closely linked to the development and the clear changes in the market. Such market is characterized by a rapid change, a strong growth in technology, and by a widespread and transparent information. International character, knowledge and innovation are key elements to win an increasingly exasperated competition. Moreover, the growing complexity of the construction sector - due both to the rapid proliferation of products and innovative technical solutions, and to the need to take into consideration side, but not secondary, aspects of the object (environmental impact, energy efficiency, durability, safety, etc.) - points out that present management patterns of the construction process are no longer appropriate to the context in which one operates. Therefore, the construction sector faces an inevitable process of growth in which knowledge is an indispensable resource. The present article aims at showing how Knowledge Management techniques (KM) might represent a possible tool to assist in achieving such goals through a rational organization of large amounts of data and through a corporate use of the knowledge that characterizes the various stages of a building process.

Keywords: knowledge management, building process, interoperability, collaborative design

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Full text: content.pdf (259,667 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Ciftcioglu O, Durmisevic S, Sariyildiz S

Building design support by hierarchical expert networks

Abstract: "Rapid advances in parallel processing technologies gave essential impetus to intelligent information processing, which became the driving source of an emerging technology known as soft computing. This calls for intelligent systems that are able to process information which may be complex, uncertain even incomplete or contradictory. In this context, neural networks and fuzzy logic are the essential tools. Considering the merits of each approach separately, most suitable computational intelligence method can be used for a specific application. Additionally, the combination of these methods can provide enhanced information processing for decision-making with enhanced reliability. For building design, the computational intelligence system use a knowledge base formed by means of neural network and fuzzy logic (neuro-fuzzy) techniques, from a building design database. The application of such a system to a building design task was preliminarily demonstrated earlier [1]. The present research describes a systematic neural fuzzy modelling of data that form a knowledge base in a hierarchical form (s.figure below). Each sub-knowledge base represents a local expert, being level-one expert and the association of local experts forms a more comprehensive expert that becomes a global domain expert as level-two. The association of the experts is accomplished by means of fuzzy-logic-driven gating network that performs, the information handling as required. Although, the present paper describes two-level hierarchical experts as local and global, the associations can be done in more subtle form, i.e., in more than two steps so that the level of experts can be categorised in multi-level form. In such more complex structures, multi-level experts require related gating network that could similarly be designed. The building design support system with the expert network developed, as a whole, is generic enough for decision-makings with a novel systematic approach concept using appropriate database. Accordingly, the research deals with a particular architectural building design with efficiency and consistency features using the hierarchical expert network system described [1] Ciftcioglu O, Sariyildiz S. and Veer P. v.d., 1998 , Information Ordering for decision support in building design, D and DSS, Design and Decision Support Systems 4th International Conference on Design and Decision Support Systems in Architecture and Urban Planning, Castle Vaeshartelt, Maastricht, July 26-29, The Netherlands"

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Full text: content.pdf (519,213 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.analysis (0.064229) class.synthesis (0.019630) class.man-man (0.013152)
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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


Ekholm A

A conceptual framework for classification of construction works

Abstract: Classification is a means to facilitate communication among actors in a field of practice. In the construction sector classification plays a major role in specifications, structuring of documents, calculation of costs, etc. The need for general classification systems grows with the increased internationalisation of the construction market and the rapid development towards a computer integrated construction process based on computer aided product data modelling. These processes require standardised ways of describing construction artefacts, and classification is a means to achieve this. Classification within the construction sector is based on pragmatic tradition and national needs, but internationally applicable classification tables must be founded on a neutral conceptual framework. The ISO Technical Report 14177 "Classification of information in the construction industry" aims at providing such a framework. This study analyses some basic concepts within the ISO Technical Report, among others facility, space, element, and work section, and suggests further developments. Fundamental semantic and ontological theories are applied to define some basic concepts within classification and to build a conceptual framework for construction works. A general conclusion of the study is that the proposed framework is useful as a foundation for identifying classes for construction works. Among the more specific conclusions are that: 1) a separate classification of socio-technical user systems may be a useful background for classifying infrastructure units, construction works, and spaces according to the activities they support; 2) a classification of construction work parts as "shape objects" is needed in the earliest stages of the computer-aided design process; and 3) a definition of space that includes its boundaries is proposed.

Keywords: classification, construction, facility, element, work section, space, CAD

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1996/2 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1996 (browse)
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Ekholm A

Co-ordination of classifications for product modelling and established building classifications

Abstract: Computer based information management introduces new possibilities and puts partly new requirements on information and classification systems. The rapid develop-ment and dissemination of information technology within the construction sector demands international co-ordination of standards and classification systems. This paper presents the preliminary results of a study of the product model classification systems IFC and POSC/Caesar in relation to the established building classification systems as defined in ISO 12006-2 and the Swedish BSAB 96. The study is part of a project with the aim to analyse the structure, scope and direction of development for these different systems, and to investigate the possibilities of co-ordination and co-operation between them. It shows a need for co-ordination of concepts in the ontological and the domain levels.

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Full text: content.pdf (72,192 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.standards (0.026432) class.retrieve (0.020655) class.represent (0.020085)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


Esther Obonyo, Mukund Patil, Chimay Anumba

Towards an Agent-Augmented Virtual Design and Construction Approach

Abstract: There has been a rapid growth in the use of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) applications for design and functionality analysis in the early stages of the project development cycle. Although significant strides have been made in refining the functionality of such applications, there is still no overall integration scheme that addresses the challenges inherent in knowledge management for organization learning. There are several initiatives directed addressing this challenge through leveraging on Semantic Web technologies, to address these challenges. Some of these efforts are directed at the developing the potential for using software agents to automate some of the tasks inherent in information retrieval through enhancing the implementation of dynamic, domain-specific components. This paper discusses the deployment of an agent-based approach to enhance the modeling and simulation of construction activities. The main body of the paper identifies specific roles that can be delegated to agents in the deployment of an intelligent, virtual architecture. The paper also describes a proof-of-concept application that was implemented to assess the feasibility of using agents within VDC applications. The proof-of-concept models the flow of formwork components in a construction yard. Based on the findings, it is clear that there is a great potential for enhancing VDC applications using an agent-based approach. Given that agents-based systems are by definition software components that exhibit flexible and autonomous action in dynamic, unpredictable context, they can automate functions such as information extraction, structuring and retrieval. These benefits were apparent in the experimental use of the approach. This notwithstanding, the concept of agents is still relatively new and there are some implementations challenges that will need to be address if the approach is to be scaled up. The paper concludes with a concise discussion of the implications of the research and identifies specific components of the agent-based approach that will be implemented as part of follow up activities.

Keywords: virtual applications, organizational learning, knowledge management, agents

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Faraj I, Alshwai M

A Modularised Integrated Computer Environment for the Construction Industry: SPACE

Abstract: This paper outlines an overview of the SPACE project. SPACE (Simultaneous Prototyping for an Integrated Construction Environment) is a rapid prototyping environment which supports a subset of a construction project life cycle. Its main objective is to develop a future intelligent integrated design and construction system for the civil and building domain through which a number of solutions can be generated and analyzed. This is accomplished through the use of a comprehensive project data model capable of supporting a range of applications. The data model consists of an independent data model and application specific data models. The research concentrates on establishing a project data infrastructure and tools for managing the information exchange that occurs during a project life cycle, with emphasis on the design, site layout and construction planning, cost estimating and maintenance applications. This will enable better, more efficient and more cost effective buildings to be designed. The output generated by the prototype are very detailed which can improve the decision making process, different constraints can be applied and their consequences can be simulated. The prototype was tested with a number of case studies, some of which can be viewed by downloading the demo file attached with this paper.

Keywords: Computer Integrated Construction, Project Model, Integration

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1999/3 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1999 (browse)
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