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Alfredo F. Serpell, José M. Rueda

Modeling a project scope using a case-based reasoning approach

Abstract: The availability of a good, complete scope definition in the early stages of a project is widely recognized by industry practitioners as a key factor for overall project success. This paper presents a Project Scope Modeling Methodology for computerized decision support during the definition of a new project scope. The methodology is based on the effective reutilization of historical project scope definitions through the application of Case Based Reasoning (CBR), an Artificial Intelligence approach. In CBR, the previous experiences are reused in solving new situations re-ducing the complexities of modeling reasoning processes. By using CBR, the scope modeling methodology helps to find and reuse the most relevant historical information, allowing to easily consult and combine information from multiple scope definitions in a computerized environment. The resulting scope definitions are ready to serve as input information for different planning purposes. The application for conceptual cost estimating is discussed.

Keywords: project, scope, planning, modeling, case-based reasoning, methodology

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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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 (Rambřll, Cowi and NIRAS) and one large contractor (Hřjgaard 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.


Chan P

The use of web-based tools to support a contractual claim in arbitration or litigation

Abstract: Most standard forms of building contracts provide for the use of arbitration as a means of dispute resolution, failing which, the parties have to settle their disputes in court. Each dispute is resolved by examining whether the party who makes a contractual claim is able to discharge his burden of proof in both the liability issue and the quantum issue. The scope of proof is usually prescribed by the building contract. Evidence of information, facts and opinions may be adduced in support of a claim. Most project information may be stored in a web-based information management system. In existence are also some IT applications which may assist in providing facts and opinions that may support a claim. 4D Modelling may be used to simulate critical paths for the evaluation of an extension of time claim. GPS may provide the tracking of the use of resources to help attribute the cost of their use to the basis of a claim. The latest technology of LADAR may assist by recording through time, the as-built status of the project at any one time thereby determining the real-time progress of work. The use of computer-generated evidence is provided for by legislation and case law. This paves the way to use web-based tools to support a contractual claim in arbitration or litigation by linking the whole system to a claims service that monitors the situations where a claim may be made and trigger off a warning so that the procedure of claim may be pursued by a party if he chooses to do so. The claims service should then extract the necessary data from the other services in the project web to build up a claim.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


Christiansson P, Modin J

Conceptual models for communicating knowledge in the building industry - implementation of the cube system

Abstract: This paper presents the conceptual models that emerged during the development of the Cube demonstrator in the Cube project at Lund University in Sweden. The Cube project was led by the Department of Construction Management with the systems development being done by the authors, at the KBS-Media Lab of the Department of Structural Engineering. The paper presents the underlying conceptual models for knowledge transfer used in the Cube system. In the Cube system the formalized rules do not apply to the knowledge itself but rather to the way it is conveyed. The goal for these models is to assist a growth of building knowledge that is driven from the building site and the daily situations there. It is showed how knowledge chunks are labeled and stored in answer boxes specific for each project or building site. Existing classification systems, BSAB, are implemented together with a dynamic limited vocabulary and task-oriented headings to form an efficient knowledge communication and retrieval system.

Keywords: knowledge capture; taxonomies; multimedia; knowledge transfer; database

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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.


Durmisevic S, Ciftcioglu O, Sariyildiz S

Knowledge modelling of 'soft' data in architectural design

Abstract: IT Context: Information technologies are at present used in various disciplines to address issues such as information processing, data mining, knowledge-modelling etc. Its final goal is to provide necessary aid to professionals during decision-making process. This raises already few questions such as, what type of data is considered and are there some new emerging technologies that can improve knowledge modelling and therefore provide better decision support to the professionals. Design professionals are very often confronted with soft data that they somehow need to interpret and finally integrate in a design. Situations dealing with the numerical data may occur quite naturally in exact sciences like engineering sciences, life sciences etc. However, the quantities subject to consideration in soft sciences are often qualitative rather than quantitative so that we relate to that type of data as 'soft' data. As an example, in such cases, the quantities may be linguistic so that such quantities have to be somehow expressed in numerical form for treatment by conclusive numerical analysis methods. Objectives: The architectural design task is one example having linguistic qualities as priory design information. This is especially the case when qualities of certain space are discussed, like for example in post occupancy evaluation of the buildings, where the relationship between spatial characteristics and psychological aspects plays an important role. Expressions such as: bright colour, light room, large space are some of these examples and therefore a special method is needed for representation and processing of such vague expressions and concepts. Better understanding of these concepts is necessary so that the knowledge can be modelled in a proper way. Methodology: The analyses are performed by means of soft computing methods. The data subject to analysis and later to knowledge modelling belongs to an underground station that is already being used. For this purpose, the data on psychological aspects are obtained via comprehensive inquiry of the users of underground station. For the analysis, the linguistic information is firstly converted to terms in fuzzy logic domain and after appropriate treatment, the data analyses are carried out and the results are expressed in most comprehensible form for design assessments. Such conversions are referred to as fuzzification and defuzzification, where the data are expressed in numerical form and therefore become convenient for mathematical treatment. Conclusions: Referring to the complexity of task in dealing with the soft data as well as dealing with soft computing, the paper first identifies the source of these complexities referring to the architectural design tasks. Following this, a soft computing analysis method based on one case study will be presented, whereby the focus will be on knowledge modelling. Finally, the results of the analyses together with the conclusions regarding the observed effectiveness of the approach are presented.

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Full text: content.pdf (242,586 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.036108) class.impact (0.013187) class.analysis (0.007731)
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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.


Eilif Hjelseth, Nick Nisbet

Overview of Concepts for Model Checking

Abstract: This paper gives an overview and a description of different concepts for model checking. Model checking is defined as execution of predefined rules on a building information model, e.g. an IFC-file. Rules can be based on laws, regulations, codes, standards, advisory material or self defined requirements for generally or project specific use. The different concepts will be presented with a description and examples of use related to stages in the life cycle of the design process (ISO 22263:2008). The paper will discus mixed use of these concepts in basis of IDDS, integrated design and delivery (IDDS, 2010). Generally should model checking be use to support areas where the designer is not an expert – or other (repetitive) tasks human performance is error prone. An model who have passed all checks can at it’s best said to be “not bad”, and never to be the best designed building. Reasoned feedback is an important part of model checking.The following concepts will (so far) be presented: A) Validating model checking. The checking is performed against a set or rules, that all must be passed, or not activated, to pass the validation. Examples are checking against codes or standards. Following sub-types: Geometry based, information based and mixed systems will be explained. B) Asking model checking. This is rules applied on defined situations who ask for a choice between different alternatives. Examples are choose of venetian blinds and ventilation related to area of window. C) Self checking and adaptive model checkingExample of this is the adaptation of the diameter of the column in response to number of floors. D) Reversed model checkingExamples are checking a model and give feedback on which codes / standards, or parts of this that is relevant. Support for manual checkingReference:IDDS, 2010. Introduction to Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions, http://www.cibworld.nl/site/programme/priority_themes/integrated_design_solutions.html , (visited: 201-03-30).ISO 22263:2008. Organization of information about construction works -- Framework for management of project information. http://www.iso.org/iso/search.htm?qt=22263&sort=rel&type=simple&published=on (visited: 2010-03-30).

Keywords: checking, ontology, BIM

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Elger D, Russell P

Teaching knowledge management using distributed practice simulation

Abstract: The paper describes attempts by the authors to convey the importance of teamwork in architecture to students, be it in the process of architecture or the object itself. One of the main postulates of the work is that pedagogically, teamwork is better trained than taught. This is further compounded when the technological burden of distributed practice is introduced. Using Internet based communication technologies, the authors have sought to create a design studio environment that simulates real world situations where major planning partners are located in different cities and even different countries. Using experience gained over four years of networked studios, the authors were able to enrol five other universities for a semester-long experimental design studio. In essence, the students undertook to solve the design problem in teams spread over different universities. From 43 students, 14 teams (each with 3 members and one with 4 members) were assembled with no two students from the same university in the same team. Furthermore, each team was assigned a tutor from a fourth (or fifth) university. The different universities were far enough separated so as to preclude easy face to face meetings. Instead, the Internet was used as a communication medium. The entire range of available technologies was put to use. A central web site which logged user presence served as a virtual "place" where the students and tutors could meet to carry out informal discussions or arrange to transfer the discussions elsewhere (e.g. to a chat room or a videoconference). The web site platform also provided the entire group with supporting information such as personal diaries, common calendar functions, email lists and directories of student work. The students made their work available on the web throughout the semester in order to communicate with their tutor as well as with one another. Essential to the successful communication was an initial acquaintance session. This took the form of a 3-day workshop at the beginning of the semester. While this workshop ostensibly focussed on the design problem, it effectively served as a social engineering exercise in order to shake out compatibility among potential team members. After the workshop, the group met again 15 week later for a final review. Halfway through the semester, the individual teams travelled to their tutors for a mid-term review. Otherwise, all communication took place over the Internet (or through conventional telecommunication methods). The theme itself was certainly selfreferential: to design a centre for a virtual university. This cross-pollination of design method and design theme was an additional encumbrance for most students, but also provided a fertile bed for a wide range of design solutions. It is important to note that all of the teams were able to complete the assignment and postsemester questionnaires show an overwhelming positive reaction to the experimental studio, notwithstanding the high costs of travel and telephone. The paper discusses the feedback from the students and possible implications for future iterations of the concept.

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Full text: content.pdf (890,508 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 (0.093221) class.social (0.038530) class.collaboration (0.035454)
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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.


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


Hanser D, Halin G, Bignon J C

A hyperdocument representation of the project for a user-adaptive groupware

Abstract: This paper describes the representation of a project inside a groupware tool dedicated to heterogeneous and short-lived teams. With a few exceptions, the concurrent engineering tools taken from industry and services are not used in building projects. These tools transpose in computer terms existing situations with hierarchical rules. Therefore, these tools couldn't respect the strong autonomy, of the actors in the French building context. The solution, we propose, give a relational vision of the cooperation and of the interactions existing during the processes of conception-construction in architectural works. Our first interest point concerns the representation of the actors, the documents and the assignments as a relational network and not as a hierarchical tree, mostly used in the groupware tools. In a second point, we use this relational network to produce a hyperdocument representation of the project data. This hyperdocument representation gives an adaptive view of the project organization and evolution to each actor in order to display information related to him only.

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Full text: content.pdf (199,771 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 (0.066546) class.roadmaps (0.021380) class.man-software (0.019065)
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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.


Jack Cheng, Keyu Chen and Weiwei Chen

Comparison of Marker-Based and Markerless AR: A Case Study of An Indoor Decoration System

Abstract: The feature of combining the real world with virtual objects enables Augmented Reality (AR) to provide a better display of information, resulting in its increasing popularity in a variety of industries. However, sometimes the two types of AR application Đ marker-based AR and markerless AR Đ are confusing to developers. These two types of AR can be applied to different situations because both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. So it is necessary for developers to learn the difference between these two types of AR. In this paper, an AR-based indoor decoration system is developed to illustrate the difference between marker-based AR and markerless AR. The developed system can aid in viewing the effect of indoor decoration with both virtual facilities and product information in advance. Based on the two modules of this system (marker-based module and markerless module), this paper makes a comparison between these two types of AR in the following four aspects: (1) methods in realizing AR, (2) position accuracy, (3) stability, and (4) hardware support. The comparison results can provide future developers with a judgement basis when deciding which types of AR to select.

Keywords: Marker-Based AR, Markerless AR, Indoor Decoration, Comparison

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0231

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