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Watson A, Wamburgh W

A product model based architecture for engineering applications software

Abstract: "Some progress has been made in the establishment of agreed product models as the basis of a more open information centric approach to engineering, both in the construction sector and beyond. Specific building related initiatives, such as the CIS and the IFC, have been implemented in software and are now beginning to impact on industry. In common with sectors, these standards have drawn heavily on the work of ISO 10303 (STEP), particularly the EXPRESS data definition language and Part 21 file format. Today, although they may differ widely in many respects, the majority of product model based information standards share a common STEP based technology. It is also true that most are currently aimed at providing file based data exchange between existing engineering applications software, even if many have more revolutionary ambitions. It is already apparent that the longer-term realisation of the more interesting possibilities implicitly requires that future applications software is built round the product model, rather than using translators to create a degree of retrospective compatibility. At the same time current software engineering trends are towards smaller modular component software. It is postulated that a future architecture for engineering applications might accommodate both these ideas by constructing engineering software on a product model based repository that offers the developer a more appropriate window onto the underlying information. The focus of this paper is not on the product model, or on the base functionality that any repository should provide, it is on the nature of the interface that might be provided to the application developer. This also has significant implications for the very nature of contemporary applications software, but this is not addressed in this paper. The main subject of the paper is a description of a proposed architecture that employs a hierarchy of “windows” to present an application with an appropriate view of information objects held in a product model repository. The paper also provides a description of an initial prototype that shows how some of the identified design goals have been realised. The proposed architecture essentially provides a semantic and a syntactical bridge between an object server (or repository) and client applications. It enables a structure of different windows to be defined, each window comprising a population of virtual objects whose definition cascades down to the level below – until the real objects are encountered in the underlying repository. A formal EXPRESS schema is used to specify the semantics of each window, and the services provided by each widow include: ·Filtering to exclude specified virtual objects ·Mapping to create the virtual objects ·Validation to check compliance of virtual objects at each window level ·Added value engineering functionality. The paper concludes with some speculative preliminary conclusions on the practical implications of such an architecture being adopted by the construction sector."

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Full text: content.pdf (302,947 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.065557) class.represent (0.029759) class.environment (0.019415)
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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


Weener R J

"The concept of hierarchical levels; an overall concept for a full automatic concrete design including the education of concrete. The case MatrixFrame? versus EuroCadCrete."

Abstract: "1. The exception proves the rule; Knowledge Based Automatic Concrete Design From the early 80 till the second half of 1990 the software Matrix developed for structural engineers was based on the MsDOS platform. In those years the codechecking distinguished itself by an extremely enforced integrated approach. A complete structural design including the generation of drawings could be realized at once, with one press on the button. In this concept there was no room for the intervening interaction of civil engineers. They had little or no influence on unforeseen situations or shortcomings in the automatic analysis of boundary conditions or the automatic design. The fact that we were secured of the cooperation of civil engineers (experts) concerning improvements makes it possible for us to make our knowledge based system even more complete. 2. The exception becomes the rule; Interactive Concrete Engineering A disadvantage of a full automatic structural design is the existence of exceptional cases. Every case needs to be programmed which leads to a huge programming effort. In order to complete the last 20% you need a programming effort of 80% of the total period. Another disadvantage is the different approach by the government for using software for code checking. The new Windows software is based on a structure very close related to the level of code checking. All the relevant parameters can be manipulated. The link to the code is absolutely clear by the visualization of the applied code article as well as the provided value and the required value. 3. The 80-20 rule; The concept of hierarchical levels 80% of his time a civil engineer is using only 20% of the functionality of his software for structural analysis. A program doesn’t need to be too complex for daily use. When you think in different levels you can manage the 80% for daily use, as well as the 20% for the advanced topics in 1 program. The computer, using generative processes, without intervening interactions can work out 80% of all calculations. When you think in levels it is possible to work out the other 20% by the same program. 4. Ruling by exception; Computer Aided Learning system 10 years ago the TU-Delft developed a CAD exercise. During this period more than 1500 students used these exercises for their training. This CAD exercise was developed in order to support students in dimensioning, analyzing and detailing concrete structures, after the introductory lecture in designing and constructing concrete in their third academic year. EUROCADCRETE is a continuation of the CAD exercise mentioned above and is based on the educational version of MatrixFrame 2D-Frame and on the experience of the TU-Delft during the lessons of the CAD Concrete exercise. Students at home can define the structural analysis part of the exercise. Then the prepared job can be worked out according to the EuroCode in the EUROCADCRETE environment. The last part of the exercise gives the student the opportunity to perform parametric studies. By means of exercises and by providing interactive tools students gain a clear insight in the nature of reinforced concrete, which is the aim of this job. A learning system like EUROCADCRETE is a combination of, on the one side, a Graphical User Interface based on the lowest level, and a check mechanism and parametric study on the other side, which is based on the advanced level within the concept of hierarchical levels."

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Full text: content.pdf (877,357 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.062219) class.analysis (0.050748) class.deployment (0.037199)
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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


Wen M-C,Tsai M-H,Kang S-C,Chang Y-L

Flood game: an alternative approach for disaster education

Abstract: Flooding is a frequent disaster in typhoon season in Taiwan nearly every year. To prevent flooding, the decision-makers need to invest in costly constructions, such as embankments and disaster parks. They also need to carefully allocate resources, such as sand bags and pumps, to minimize the damage caused by the heavy rain during a typhoon. This paper presents an ongoing disaster education project, for disaster education for which we designed a flood game allowing high school students to play the role of the decision makers. We based the flood game on the popular “tower defense game,” in which players need to allocate limited resources before and during random attacks because the decision behaviors are very similar between the decision makers of flood prevention and the players of tower defense. The flood game has two independent goals: happiness index and money. The happiness index represents the citizens’ satisfaction. The money is a subtraction of the construction items from the total tax income. If the city is well protected, the tax income will increase and vice versa. The players need to wisely allocate the money to build the necessary facilities around the riverside in the right places and at the right time to maximize efficiency of the expenditure. We included six common construction items for flood prevention, including sand bags, pumps, dikes, disaster parks, green roofs, and green streets. We also developed six levels for the game, from the easiest (only one available construction item) to the most difficult (six available construction items) to help players progressively learn the game. If the city resists attacks from heavy rain successfully, the players can pass the level and proceed to the next one. To validate the use of the game, we tested the game with 148 high school students and found that it cannot only increase their interest in learning but also help students understand the complexity of flood prevention for the decision-makers. In the near future, we will develop follow-up teaching materials and videos to leverage the learning outcome after playing the game.

Keywords: Game-Based Learning,Interactive Game,Flood Defense,Education

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Full text: content.pdf (1,134,206 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Willems P H, Tolman F B

Semantic topology: the management of shape definition

Abstract: Over the last decade Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems have found their way in the building industry and have become a mayor tool for defining the shape of a prod- uct. However, CAD systems still do not really seem to aid the design process during all its stages. They fail to assist the early design phases, where shape definitions are not fixed yet, but exist stilr as roughly sketched contours. This paper investigates shortcomings of the state of the art CAD-systems, with regard to their application in all design stages, especially within the building industry. A new approach for shape definition is intrduced. This approach, called ‘Semantic Topology’, should be able to bridge the gap between advanced product model struc- tures and conventional geometric modelling. ’ This implies bringing in features for: - adjusting the tolerancing level, eg, a liberal tolerancing level in the early design stage ending in the accepted manufacturing tolerances after the completion of the final design. defining shape constraints, shape constraints should clearly define the modelling freedom to define a cer- tain shape. This feature is particular important for realising concurrent engi- neering. modular structures, in contrast to monolithic structures, are essential to ma- nipulate product models, standard part libraries and very large shape models. a consistent shape decomposition helps to integrate shape definition with product definition. It is insportant to stress that Semantic Topology does not introduce a new kind of geometric modelling, yet it acts as an intermediary layer between a product model kernel and a geometric model. I making geometrical structures fit for modular handling, - shape decomposition support,

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Full text: content.pdf (1,756,871 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.035822) class.represent (0.029391) class.legal (0.002341)
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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.


Yu Zhang, Alan Kwan, John Miles

Using generative representations for structural design

Abstract: Work in recent years has shown that topological reasoning with search algorithms using traditional rep-resentations such as parameters, ground structures, voxels, etc is very limiting. Each type of representation is only to be suitable for a limited number of topologies. This is restrictive because there are many problems where the topology of the solution is unknown except in the most general terms or there are competing topologies which are suitable for solv-ing a given problem. Hence, at best, choosing a representation technique can be difficult and at worst it can restrict the search so that a full examination of the problem is not possible. Also, as the available computational power increases and the technology of search algorithms is enhanced, the topologies being reasoned about become ever more complex and so the representations within the algorithms can become cumbersome. A possible solution to these difficulties is the use of generative geometries where the object is represented by a set of rules which describe how to create the object. These can, when correctly implemented, give a compact representation and one which can be handled within typical search algorithms like for example genetic algorithms. This paper looks at the use of L-systems. They are being applied to beam design problems although this paper focuses on the representation. As will be shown in the paper, although the representation has some attractions, there are also some difficulties with the implementation and especially with en-forcing constraints. The paper describes work which is in progress rather than a completed project.

Keywords: generative representation, evolutionary computation, structures, search algorithms

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Full text: content.pdf (333,992 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Yusuf F, Alshawi M

Improving the brief through information and process modelling

Abstract: Due to the vast amount of information and knowledge involved in construction projects, clients often have difficulties in identifying and communicating their actual requirements. In order to address this information effectively during the briefing process, such information is modelled into structured data models using EXPRESS-G technique. The processes involved during the development of the brief, however, are modelled using IDEF0 technique.The developed models establish the foundation for the development of a computerised system, which utilise an object oriented environment. The implemented object oriented data models then form the framework for the presentation of the client's brief. These models, when implemented into the computerised environment, will significantly enhance the communication channel between the various parties involved from a very early stage of a construction project. The outcome is an improved brief, which fulfils the client's budgetary constraints.

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Full text: content.pdf (102,590 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.software development (0.032608) class.communication (0.022096) class.environment (0.020282)
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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.


Zhang S,Teizer J,Perez E,McDonald M

Automated safety-in-design rule-checking for capital facility projects

Abstract: Safety-in-design (SID) reviews are mandatory for capital facility projects because they eliminate hazards before activities in the construction, operation, and maintenance phases take place. Existing SID review processes which many large corporations have in place, however, still rely mainly on manual input and judgment of experienced safety experts. Often very skilled humans make decisions based upon paper-based drawings or three-dimensional visualization models. As such, tasks in safety-in-design review sessions remain to be manual and thus are very much time-consuming, expensive. Furthermore, if not all hazards are detected and mitigated, they can be potentially error-prone. Unsafe design ultimately exposes workers at risk as it provides an unsafe work environment. It can also become very costly if unsafe design is detected outside of the design and construction planning phases of a capital facility project. The objective of this work was to develop a safety code compliance checking technology that does not replace human judgment, but supports human decision making of safety experts, designers, engineers, and field staff. The developed work applies novel safety code compliance checking algorithms on intelligent information models which are prepared during design and construction planning. The initial scope of the developed algorithms is limited to check for safe work access and egress requirements in existing information models. As existing safety rules and best practices are embedded in the developed code compliance checking system, they can be automatically executed on information models which exist for every capital facility project. A case study is presented to illustrate its practical implementation for an off-shore oil platform. Results show that the developed system generates automated reports that list the safety violations and furthermore, along with visual screenshots of the unsafe object in the information model, indicate the process of how these issues can be mitigated based upon established best safety practices. The significance of human-assisted decision-making in SID reviews and its potential to lead to safer designs early in a project is explained.

Keywords: Capital facility projects,design for safety,design reviews,information modeling,rule checking,3D model,safety-in-design

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Full text: content.pdf (898,525 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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