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Daum S,Borrmann A

Checking spatio-semantic consistency of building information models by means of a query language

Abstract: One of the characteristic features of object-based Building Information Models is the close integration of geometric and semantic information into one model. This concept is thoroughly implemented by the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), a comprehensive data model designed to provide a sound foundation for complex data exchange scenarios. Besides the provision of a large variety of data types for capturing the semantics of building elements and spaces, the IFC also makes it possible to define relationships between building elements and/or spaces, respectively. In particular, a spatial aggregation hierarchy can be modeled by successively applying the relationship IfcRelAggregates to space objects. However, no validation options currently exist to check whether the semantically defined aggregation hierarchy complies with the geometric setup of the individual spaces and building elements. This lack of consistency between the semantic and the geometric part of the BIM model may lead to serious data interpretation errors at the receiving end. To prevent this, we propose a new method for validating spatio-semantic consistency based on the usage of the Query Language for Building Information Models (QL4BIM) which on the one hand provides a means of accessing the IFC object model and on the other hand provides high-level spatial operators, such as Disjoint, Touching and Containing. The formulation of corresponding queries makes it possible to verify the spatio-semantic consistency of the IFC model. The paper discusses application scenarios and provides a number of relevant examples.

Keywords: BIM,IFC,Topology,Validation,Consistency,Spatial Relationships

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Full text: content.pdf (718,919 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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De Grassi M, Giretti A, Caneparo L, Mecca S

Teaching construction in the virtual university: the WINDS project

Abstract: "This paper introduces some of the Information Technology solutions adopted in Web based INtelligent Design Support (WINDS) to support education in A/E/C design. The WINDS project WINDS is an EC-funded project in the 5th Framework, Information Society Technologies programme, Flexible University key action. WINDS is divided into two actions: ·The research technology action is going to implement a learning environment integrating an intelligent tutoring system, a computer instruction management system and a set of co-operative supporting tools. ·The development action is going to build a large knowledge base supporting Architecture and Civil Engineering Design Courses and to experiment a comprehensive Virtual School of Architecture and Engineering Design. During the third year of the project, more than 400 students all over Europe will attend the Virtual School. During the next three years the WINDS project will span a total effort of about 150 man-years from 28 partners of 10 European countries. The missions of the WINDS project are: Advanced Methodologies in Design Education. WINDS drives a breakdown with conventional models in design education, i.e. classroom or distance education. WINDS implements a problem oriented knowledge transfer methodology following Roger Schank’s Goal Based Scenario (GBS) pedagogical methodology. GBS encourages the learning of both skills and cases, and fosters creative problem solving. Multidisciplinary Design Education. Design requires creative synthesis and open-end problem definition at the intersection of several disciplines. WINDS experiments a valuable integration of multidisciplinary design knowledge and expertise to produce a high level standard of education. Innovative Representation, Delivery and Access to Construction Education. WINDS delivers individual education customisation by allowing the learner access through the Internet to a wide range of on-line courses and structured learning objects by means of personally tailored learning strategies. WINDS promotes the 3W paradigm: learn What you need, Where you want, When you require. Construction Practice. Construction industry is a repository of ""best practices"" and knowledge that the WINDS will profit. WINDS system benefits the ISO10303 and IFC standards to acquire knowledge of the construction process directly in digital format. On the other hand, WINDS reengineers the knowledge in up-to-date courses, educational services, which the industries can use to provide just-in-time rather than in-advance learning. WINDS IT Solutions The missions of the WINDS project state many challenging requirements both in knowledge and system architecture. Many of the solutions adopted in these fields are innovative; others are evolution of existing technologies. This paper focuses on the integration of this set of state-of-the-art technologies in an advanced and functionally sound Computer Aided Instruction system for A/E/C Design. In particular the paper deals with the following aspects: Standard Learning Technology Architecture The WINDS system relies on the in progress IEEE 1484.1 Learning Technology Standard Architecture. According to this standard the system consists of two data stores, the Knowledge Library and the Record Database, and four process: System Coach, Delivery, Evaluation and the Learner. WINDS implements the Knowledge Library into a three-tier architecture: 1.Learning Objects: ·Learning Units are collections of text and multimedia data. ·Models are represented in either IFC or STEP formats. ·Cases are sets of Learning Units and Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describes solutions, integrate technical detail, contain relevant design failures etc. 2.Indexes refer to the process in which the identification of relevant topics in design cases and learning units takes place. Indexing process creates structures of Learning Objects for course management, profile planning procedures and reasoning processes. 3.Courses are taxonomies of either Learning Units or a design task and Course Units. Knowledge Representation WINDS demonstrates that it is possible and valuable to integrate a widespread design expertise so that it can be effectively used to produce a high level standard of education. To this aim WINDS gathers area knowledge, design skills and expertise under the umbrellas of common knowledge representation structures and unambiguous semantics. Cases are one of the most valuable means for the representation of design expertise. A Case is a set of Learning Units and Product Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describe solutions, integrate technical details, contain relevant design failures, etc. Knowledge Integration Indexes are a medium among different kind of knowledge: they implement networks for navigation and access to disparate documents: HTML, video, images, CAD and product models (STEP or IFC). Concept indexes link learning topics to learning objects and group them into competencies. Index relationships are the base of the WINDS reasoning processes, and provide the foundation for system coaching functions, which proactively suggest strategies, solutions, examples and avoids students’ design deadlock. Knowledge Distribution To support the data stores and the process among the partners in 10 countries efficiently, WINDS implements an object oriented client/server as COM objects. Behind the DCOM components there is the Dynamic Kernel, which dynamically embodies and maintains data stores and process. Components of the Knowledge Library can reside on several servers across the Internet. This provides for distributed transactions, e.g. a change in one Learning Object affects the Knowledge Library spread across several servers in different countries. Learning objects implemented as COM objects can wrap ownership data. Clear and univocal definition of ownerships rights enables Universities, in collaboration with telecommunication and publisher companies, to act as “education brokers”. Brokerage in education and training is an innovative paradigm to provide just-in-time and personally customised value added learning knowledge."

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Full text: content.pdf (417,738 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.088602) class.deployment (0.042591) class.bestPractise (0.035370)
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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


Debras P, Monceyron J L, Bauer F, Ballesta P, Rocca F X

From product data technology to applications: an illustrative case in the AEC domain

Abstract: Handling the fragmentation of the Building industry stands for one of the major challenge of this predominant economic sector in Europe and interoperability between a various range of dedicated applications is the main end-user requirement at a practical level. In that context Product Data Technologies are regarded as a the most promising route to meet the objective. However, the elaboration and further deployment of PDT based applications requires the availability of both suitable Product Data models that conveys the underlying semantics of these applications and software platforms allowing an easy usage of such data models at the implementation level. CSTB STEP Platform is first presented that offers an implementation of STEP Standard Data Access Interface. Focus is set on the generic aspect of the platform regarding its ability to support any EXPRESS schema, but also on its architecture that encompasses among others persistence, OLE support and WEB compliance. Attention is then brought to the semantic level and the Industry Foundation Classes are depicted as a promising product data model regarding the needs of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction domain. Building upon these two components, a illustrative application is detailed that evidences the interest of PTD in the Building sector. Elaborated under the auspices of the French chapter of the International Alliance for Interoperability, this application acts as a Building Project Server and allows the co-operation of various AEC software toolkits handling respectively the Architecture design, the HVAC design and the edition of technical documents.

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Full text: content.pdf (56,799 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.030255) class.software development (0.018361) class.man-software (0.015492)
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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.


E Hjelseth, N Nisbet

Capturing normative constraints by use of the semantic mark-up RASE methodology

Abstract: The AEC industry is highly regulated by a large number of rules given by public laws, codes, and regulative standards at both national and international levels. The relevant information in these documents need to be captured as rules for model checking in a time and cost effective way. The foundation for the RASE concept is using mark-up based on the four operators; requirement (R), applicabilities (A), selection (S) and exceptions (E) on normative text. The RASE technology has been tested on following three categories of documents: standard (case: NS 11001-1.E:2009 Universal design of building constructions - Part 1: Work buildings and buildings open to the public), standards with tables (Dubai regulations) and guidelines (case: GSA court design guidance document, USA). In each case expectations have been documented using free prose. On examination, the key clauses and phrases can be identified along with their role, allowing a testable, logical statement to be generated. The logical statement is then ready to be used by a compliance-checking engine to apply tests to a description of the facility. The results indicate that the RASE methodology can operate on a different types of normative documents with a trustworthy results.

Keywords: Knowledge representation, Semantics, Ontology, Classification, Model checking

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Full text: content.pdf (219,972 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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E Sabbatini, G M Revela, A Sicilia, M Böhms

Integration of an Infrared-based monitoring system with an EIIP (Energy Information Integration Platform) for innovative efficient indoor environment control

Abstract: An innovative thermography based measurement system for real-time estimation of thermal behaviour of a room is already developed as part of the FP7 project IntUBE. The applied approach is based on indoor measurements by an infrared (IR) camera and image post-processing to derive mean surface temperatures, thermal comfort indices, air temperature, number of occupants with the relative heat gains generated and presence of other heat sources (e.g. computers). The purpose is to provide spatially distributed room energy information in order to obtain instantaneous feedback displayed for the users or eventually for automatic HVAC control. Lumped parameter model of the room receives data from IR camera to compute exchanged heat rate and air temperature. A low-cost IR sensor, commercially available as surveillance system with automatic movement control that can provide qualitative data output, has been upgraded with a new interface to achieve quantitative data. The paper describes the integration of energy information related to the developed monitoring device (e.g. PMV - Predictive Mean Vote, PPD - Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied, room air temperature as output, humidity value from external sensor as input) within the IntUBE Energy Information Integration Platform (EIIP). The key aspect of the platform is smartness or “semantics”: ICT applications will communicate via this integration platform on the basis of semantic building objects. Performance Information Model (PIM) server stores data regarding the actual monitored performances of a building (energy, temperature, humidity, PMV etc.). These operational data together with the actual weather data can be used e.g. to compare actual performances with simulated performances and can lead to corrective actions. The paper demonstrates that an advanced monitoring/control system (as the IR-based one) can benefit from retrieving data from the EIIP through SPARQL queries, thus activating new functionalities with interoperability guaranteed by the Platform semantics.

Keywords: Thermography, Thermal comfort, Integration Platform, Interoperability, Semantics

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Full text: content.pdf (563,836 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Eastman C M

Information exchange architectures for building models

Abstract: The work in building product models, beyond the need to develop the appropriate semantics for representing building data, needs to address the information flow issues arising from the current procedures of architecture, engineering and construction practice. Offered here are four scenarios common to building practice and an analysis of the information flow issues arising from the need to support these scenarios. The issues arising from such studies are named Information Exchange Architectures. The study of Information Exchange Architectures is posed as an area requiring much study if data exchange technologies are to be used in everyday practice.

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Full text: content.pdf (119,262 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.software-software (0.024082) class.software development (0.010167) class.represent (0.009859)
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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.


Eastman C, Augenbroe F

Product modeling strategies for today and the future

Abstract: Today, there is a growing set of technologies being developed for information exchange in the construction industry. These range from Aspect Models in specific product areas to large scale integrated product models, to new languages such as EXPRESS-X and EXPRESS-2. The purpose of this paper is to sort out and review these various efforts, from several different perspectives: * in terms of what can be used now or in the near future in a production form; * in terms of the significant technical issues and limitations that may require generation changes in exchange technologies; * in terms of external business practices (reflecting case studies), practical benchmarks and adoption criteria, political and other externalities that are affecting these efforts. The survey will review the following issues: * current capabilities of ISO-STEP Part definitions to support information exchange in the building industry; * current efforts by IAI, BCCM in STEP, and other parallel activities and their potential contribution and pitfalls (problems to be overcome); * different current research efforts and the problems and solutions they identify, including COMBINE, EDM-2, VEGA, work at CIFE at Stanford University. Hitherto underdeveloped model aspects, such as capturing the semantics of the client's brief, or capturing design evolution (program, decisions and rationale), modeling performance assessments, and others such as relevant standards, construction site handling, etceteras will be reviewed and priorities assessed. Over the last ten years, the set of requirements that a building product model must meet in order to be accepted in practice as a significant 'productivity enhancement has incrementally expanded. That is, as various research goals have been set, then met, the true extent of the challenge for realizing production-based building product modeling has grown. We will review this expanding set of requirements and attempt to scope their final range. These requirements include, among other aspects: * 'semantic coverage', * level of interoperability across applications, * level of embedded project management control, and * maintained linkages to parallel 'unstructured' information flows, e.g. managed by Engineering Data Management and Document Management software. It will be argued that a viable growth scenario regarding the semantic coverage of building models is likely to be a determining factor in the way that CAD vendors will embrace these as the basis for developing the next generation of architectural CAD software. Priorities of development will be identified and compared with perceived market pulls. The perspective taken will emphasize the US point of view. However, we will endeavor to also weight significantly the European situation and efforts. The result of these perspectives will be to identify 2-3 scenarios of future evolution in the area of building product modeling, with an assessment of their likelihood of coming to be, and the critical issues needed to accomplish them.

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Full text: content.pdf (86,802 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.store (0.031024) class.roadmaps (0.018975) class.strategies (0.018828)
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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.


Froese T, Q YU K, Liston K, Fischer M

System architectures for AEC interoperability

Abstract: "This paper discusses several issues relating to computational system architectures to support interoperability among distributed, model-based AEC/FM applications. The approach is based on tiered layers where applications interact with local “Building Objects” software components that, in turn, interact with a variety of distributed data repository alternatives in a data layer. International Foundation Classes (IFCs) models are used as the primary data model in each of the layers and communication between layers uses several XML standards. One issue is an approach to multiple meta-models within the many components of a distributed system. IFCs focus on strongly-typed models that describe AEC concepts and objects in an explicit manner. One of the requirements for applications that implement IFCs is that they must understand the semantics of the IFCs and map the IFC models to the application internal application models. However, software applications used in AEC processes are not always based on an internal model that can be explicitly mapped to a strongly-typed model such as the IFCs at development stage. Instead, it is common that some of the applications are either purely generic without an explicitly defined domain schema, or generic enough so as they must deal with run-time databases whose schemas cannot be pre-defined during the development of the applications. In order to allow this type of software to share and exchange data with other applications through the models such as the IFCs, data schemas must be mapped at a higher and abstract level that allows for run-time model schema configurations and mappings. The Interactive Workspace for Project Management (IWPM) is a CIFE (Center for Facilities Engineering) project that integrates several research decision support systems, commercial project management systems, and advanced collaborative human-computer interaction approaches using emerging industry data standards and internet technologies. To illustrate an example of using the meta-model approach, the paper applies the use cases in IWPM to demonstrate how meta-models can be used to implement IFC project management related models in such an integrated software environment."

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Full text: content.pdf (595,267 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.049095) class.standards (0.036666) class.communication (0.035658)
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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


Gehre A, Katranuschkov P

Human-centred knowledge-based model access service for engineers

Abstract: This paper presents the Model Access Service (MAS) developed in the EU ISTforCE project (IST-1999-11508). It uses the capabilities of product data technology to provide value added services in a human-centred, web-based collaboration environment. Along with standard services for product model access on model and object level, it encompasses also two advanced knowledge-based features: a Reasoning Agent and an Explanation Component. MAS is developed as a self-contained system that can be used in a variety of ways. In the ISTforCE framework, it is integrated with an external Product Data Server (PDS) and a Core Information Server (CIS) which provide the necessary infrastructure enabling the full functionality of MAS. Standard functionality for model level access is provided by using MAS as a central tool that enables generalised data exchange capabilities to all relevant product models in one or more construction projects, even if they are stored on different product data servers. This is done on the basis of user and account information retrieved from the CIS. To enable the use of the product models directly, MAS provides an API for generalised RPC-based model access on object level. One of the two advanced features of MAS is the integrated Reasoning Agent which is responsible for replying to sophisticated queries concerning a specific structural design model, extending the IFC2x core model. It allows clients to use AI planning methods remotely, to generate solution sequences that combine the computed single Solver items. The second advanced feature incorporated in the MAS is the Engineering Ontology layer. It enables the translation of IFC data to the vocabulary and semantics familiar to end users. This unique feature of the MAS, distinguishing it from most proposed product data services to date, is augmented by an Explanation Component which opens many of its functions to standard Web Browsers.

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Full text: content.pdf (518,767 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.045124) class.retrieve (0.038403) class.communication (0.021612)
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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.


Halfawy M R, Pouria A, Froese T

Developing message-based interoperability protocols for distributed AEC/FM systems

Abstract: This paper discusses the requirements and a methodology for developing, implementing, and possibly standardizing, an extensible set of common messagebased protocols for exchanging project-specific and industry-wide information based on the IFC data model. The protocols define the syntax and semantics of various data exchange messages in the context of AEC/FM projects. The interoperability protocols will achieve two goals: enabling project roles and applications to exchange information in a consistent and standard manner; and enabling the full or partial automation of a set of project workflow processes. The protocols aim to enable heterogeneous and distributed AEC/FM systems to exchange information, within or across organizational boundaries, across all project phases. Interoperability protocols would include transactions for requesting or querying information from various data sources, exchanging design or construction data related to a specific project, exchanging data related to a specific business transaction (e.g. purchase orders), distributing updated project information to project teams, or requesting the execution of specific operations. Formalization and standardization of data exchange protocols between various project roles and applications will potentially provide better communication, increased quality, productivity, and reduced costs, delays, and contractual disputes.

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Full text: content.pdf (72,709 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.022872) class.software-software (0.021322) class.communication (0.016180)
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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.


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