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Aish R

Extensible enterprise computing for construction as a necessary pre-cursor for collaborative engineering

Abstract: "Our focus is to consider the construction industry as essentially an information processing system. In its ideal form, practitioners (each with an individual internal representation of design intent) interact with other practitioners by first interacting with an information processing system that manages various shared external representation of design intent. The underlying assumption (from an information technologist's perspective) is that design data is held in a sufficiently complete representation, and that changes to this representation are transactions that move the representation from one consistent state to another. We might call this 'enterprise computing' for construction. This ideal of 'enterprise computing' for construction can be compared to the realities of current practice. - Due to its fragmentation, the construction industry generally perceives its use of information technology in terms of multiple discrete 'individual' systems (with the resulting proliferation of discrete documents) rather than as an enterprise systems. - The drawing tradition, which represents building in 2D, with different representations of the same design split across multiple independently editable documents inhibits consistent management of design and the use of analytical tools. While these may be familiar arguments, there are new object oriented and data management tools emerging from key software developer, such as Bentley Systems, that are designed to address the specific needs of a 'construction enterprise', namely geometric generality, multiple application semantics, multi-user access, and transaction management. These systems also address the scalability and reliability issues required for deployment in practice. Again, arguments for (and advantages of) systems of this type have been discussed in the research literature for more than two decades. The difference is that these systems are ready for deployment. But with this prospect for a broader application of 'Enterprise Computing' for Construction, there are associated other significant issues which may concern both the 'strategic' and the 'creative' practitioners, namely: - Semantic completeness: building a sufficiently complete multi-disciplinary representation of design intent - Data integrity: where any intelligent components are used, these should not become 'orphaned', for example, by object ""instance"" data being detached from the definitions of the corresponding class - Data longevity: the integrity of design and other data should be maintained for the life-time of the building, across new hardware platforms and operating systems. Upgrades to the application and any intelligent components should not disrupt or invalidate existing data - Parallelisation of design: individual designers or engineers should be able to work in parallel, and then be able to synchronize their changes to design data with co-workers - Expressibility: architectural design and construction engineering are open-ended domains. Additional intelligent components should be capable of being added on a ""per project"" basis. Within this context, this paper will explore the essential 'tension' that exists within the Architecture and Construction sectors. On the one hand, there is a perceived need by construction managers for computing tools based on clearly defined and agreed schema to control the construction process (thereby giving economic advantage, comparability, etc.). On the other hand, creative designers who are under other competitive pressures, are expecting a different set of computing tools to allow the exploration of new building configurations and construction geometry. While in the former case a standardisation of schema (as the foundation of a traditional ""Enterprise Computing"" system) would appear to be in order, in the later case the essential 'open-ended-ness' of the creative process demands ""extensibility"" as a pre-requisite of any computing system. These differing requirements (and indeed, attitudes) within the user community, presents software developers with interesting challenges. What technologies (for example, object and/or relational) and what 'domain abstractions' are appropriate foundations for solutions for these differing requirements. Or indeed, what technologies and 'domain abstractions' can be used as the basis for broader set of applications whose design is intended to unify across this apparent ""management-creative"" divide…hence the theme of this paper: ""'Extensible Enterprise Computing' for Construction"". Fundamentally, this is not exclusively an issue of technology. We need to address both the technical and cultural issues if we are to realise our collective ambition of providing effective tools with which to support collaboration between the diverse range of interests that occur within the Architecture and Construction sectors."

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Full text: content.pdf (827,728 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.034023) class.software development (0.019513) class.represent (0.017320)
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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


Alvise Simondetti

Designer’s toolkit 2020: a vision for the practice

Abstract: Designer’s toolkit is rapidly changing and design practices need a shared vision of what the short, me-dium and long term might be. With this in mind we interviewed twenty-four thought leaders in the design community worldwide. Four big ideas emerged from the interviews: transferring technologies from other industries has provided great bene-fits, but it has also generated the need to transfer processes; changes in the way we build drives changes in the de-signer’s desktop, including the representations that designers use to communicate; greater gains are achieved by focus-sing on the interplay of specialised algorithms; “just on time” design data improves design. Four possible contexts for the designer’s toolkit are described: the proprietor aimed at increasing productivity, the open-source aimed at increasing IT driven creativity, either more or less engaged with fabrication. Finally, the paper concludes by proposing what designers ought to be doing today. Actions include educating specialist toolmakers, custodian and math modellers; integrating computer controlled machine workshops into designers’ project spaces; the automation of repetitive design tasks; supporting communities around software tools and store project data according to geospatial co-ordinates.

Keywords: Design community, technology transfer, process transfer, designer's desktop, representation, communication

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Full text: content.pdf (451,568 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Andrej Tibaut, Danijel Rebolj

TOWARDS METHODOLOGY FOR HARMONIZATION OF SEMANTICALLY DIFFERENT BIM's

Abstract: Research focus of the paper are heterogeneous information systems. Heterogeneity within a set of software applications can be attributed to the fact that their collaboration is hindered due to the conflicts in software architecture, communication protocols and/or data representation. General interconnectivity and emerging interoperability have caused the fall of mainframe-based systems, which in turn led to variety of information systems with local data representations, communication protocols and software architectures. Today these information systems need to collaborate in different engineering projects. Existing approaches, such as common framework, integration with standard scheme and data mediation, try to diminish the undesired effects within heterogeneous systems. The approaches are indeed successful because they eliminate all conflicts at design time. This way collaborating applications have to abandon their local data views. In this paper heterogeneity is regarded as a property of an information system while disharmony of an information system is defined as a state of the system. Further, structural, semantical and functional disharmony is defined as part of overall information systems’s disharmony. As a consequence a new methodology called DRAGOn (Disharmony Resolving with Agents and Ontology) is proposed. The methodology aims to dynamically resolve structural and semantical disharmony by preserving applications’ local data views. Another novelty is the definition of conceptualization for structural and semantical disharmony (Disharmony ontology) and the use of software agents. Disharmony ontology is specified in OWL. The agents use the ontology for resolving of structural and semantical conflicts between applications at runtime. Agents communicate via shared communication space based on Java technology. The mediation is incremental, which means that agents are able to build their local ontologies. The ontologies are used as persistent meta-data repositories of concepts (structure and semantics) that are captured from applications during runtime.Extensive applicability of the DRAGOn methodology is expected in information system clusters with rich and complex data content, namely management of construction projects.

Keywords: Interoperability, building information model, quality of semantic and structure, semantic and structural difference, mediation, ontology

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Full text: content.pdf (323,448 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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Assal H, Eastman C

Engineering database as a medium for translation

Abstract: In this paper we describe the translation facilities as a component of EDM-2 database. We introduce a new approach to translation that is different from the traditional translators in databases and the standard neutral file approach. First, we define design views, which are different from database views in that they allow manipulation of data, and they represent the same object or information in different formats. Second, we define object structures that capture the different representations of objects and define the relationships among them. The two main relationships here are the specialization lattice and the composition lattice. Third, we describe the basic steps of the translation process and generalize the common ones. We provide facilities for developing translators that take advantage of this generalization. We present an example of the most common representations in engineering design (IGES and DXF) to illustrate the various steps and structures in our model.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,318,897 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1995 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.026130) class.synthesis (0.017787) class.store (0.011500)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Stanford University, USA. The support of the editors, particularly Prof. Fischer is gratefully appreciated.


Bakkeren W, Willems P

Capturing and structuring the meaning of communication in the building and construction industry

Abstract: Integration of the computer applications used in the building industry requires information systems that support the communication between these applications. Cyrently this communication is realised via human interpretation and understanding. An important question in this context is: "what makes communication meaningful?". The meaning of communication has two aspects: (1) the intention: the general idea behind the communication, and (2) the extension: the set of things to which the communication applies. This paper describes these aspects of meaning and mechanisms used by human beings to define meaning. To enable information systems to support communication the intention and the extension must be represented in a computer interpretable form. The representations should be manageable, reusable and extendable. This requires structuring of the representations, which can be achieved by modular modelling and layering, This paper describes these stucturing mechanisms.

Keywords: meaning of communication; representation of meaning; structuring representations; modularity; layering

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Full text: content.pdf (788,765 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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.


Bjork B C, Lownertz K, Kiviniemi A

ISO 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 association, 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. Recently ISO has defined a draft international standard, ISO/DIS 13567, in order to increase interoperability betwen different CAD applications for building design.The principles which have been followed in the design of the draft standard are first presented, after which the paper describes the semantical organisation of the standard proposal and its default syntax. Important mandatory information categories deal with the party responsible for the information, the type of building element shown, and 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 etc.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 paper two implementations, which have been carried out independently in Sweden and Finland, are described. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possible benefits of the standard. Incremental development within the industry, is contrasted with the more idealistic scenario of building product models.

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Full text: content.pdf (442,818 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.standards (0.048516) class.synthesis (0.043906) class.represent (0.015610)
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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.


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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Cheng J,Deng Y,Du Q

Mapping between BIM models and 3d GIS city models of different levels of detail

Abstract: Modeling the built environment of a city digitally in three dimensions can support navigation, urban planning, disaster management, and energy consumption analysis. City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) was developed in recent years as a Geographic Information System (GIS) data standard to represent the geometry and geographical information of buildings in digital 3D city models. CityGML supports modeling on various Levels of Detail (LoDs) from simple box models to models with interior partitions. This paper presents the theoretical framework that we have developed for mapping between Building Information Modeling (BIM) models in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) format and CityGML models of different LoDs. The framework consists of two major parts – (1) transformation between BIM models and high level CityGML LoD4 models, and (2) harmonization among the four LoDs of CityGML. For the first part, a reference ontology was developed to transfer semantic information between BIM models in the IFC format and CityGML models. To reduce the file size of the generated CityGML models, a new geometric transformation algorithm was developed for the mapping from Swept Solid or Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) representations, which are commonly used in BIM models, to Boundary Representation (BRep) which is used in CityGML models. For the second part, schema mediation techniques are used to convert CityGML models from one LoD to another LoD. Based on the reference ontology, an application domain extension (ADE) called “Semantic City Model (SCM)” was developed for CityGML. The SCM ADE enriches CityGML models by providing more semantic information such as the linkage relationship between walls and building stories. This paper presents the developed mapping framework with an illustrative example of a residential building.

Keywords: 3D city models,Building Information Modeling (BIM),Geographic Information System (GIS),Industry Foundation Classes (IFC),Schema mapping

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Full text: content.pdf (807,385 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Christiansson P, Dawood N, Svidt K

Virtual buildings (VB) and tools to manage construction process operations

Abstract: Previous and current research and commercial activities within the virtual building area indicate that models are being developed to test and simulate different aspects of the building, but never being used to manage construction projects. This paper formulates visions and outlines solutions for how building process data can be used to represent and co-ordinate meta level digital virtual building models, generate construction site process models, capture as-built data from construction process, and handle external supplier information. A crucial part of the VB is the Project Management System (PMS), which is designed to manage the information input/output of the proposed virtual building and external processes. The PMS is outlined and specified in the paper according to functionality, part of user environment, and structure and underlying digital representations. The outlined framework will include IT-tools as temporal databases, semantic web technology and emerging web services. The PMS will support practical integration of partly redundant building product and process descriptions, improve capturing of as-built data to raise quality of the construction process and subsequent building use and maintenance, contribute to development of unified high (meta) level building process descriptions, and support project experience capturing and re-use.

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Full text: content.pdf (162,197 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.020621) class.roadmaps (0.019436) class.processing (0.017539)
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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.


Christiansson P

Dynamic knowledge nets in a changing building process

Abstract: Hypotheses and explanation models are put forward about the future global structure manipulation and transfer of knowledge. The so called Dynamic knowledge Nets, DKN, are defined and used to explain changes for the next generation of computerized communication and knowledgehandling systems. More and more powerful tools become available to model and visualize different parts of our reality. These tools will influence our possibilities to create useful models and will also have a great impact on how these models are integrated and accessed. Behind the interfaces dwell more and more capable integrated knowledge representations which are closely related to pertinent search strategies. It is now possible in a changing building process to create models which bring about a clearer and more obvious connection between the applications, our intentions and the computer stored models. The systems we are formulating today may thus provide us with dramatically better communication tools as communication rooms, personal "telescreens", and virtual realities. We must formulate and try out new concepts. New tools for building, using and maintaining the next generation systems have been and are continuously created and tested at the KBS- MEDIA LAB (knowledge based systems - media) at Lund University. Examples are given outgoing from ongoing research mainly the Material and Vendor Information and Building Maintenance Systems as well as Decision Support at theBuilding Site. These systems can shortly be described as multi agent environments with multimedia context dependent user interfaces to underlying facts bases.

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Full text: content.pdf (2,277,177 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1992 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.046718) class.environment (0.034346) class.bestPractise (0.026216)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editor, Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


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