Digital library of construction informatics
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Paper w78-1997-319:
The ARROW framework for a building object warehouse

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Newnham L, Parand F, Amor R, Nisbet N

The ARROW framework for a building object warehouse

Abstract: This paper describes the DOE1 supported ARROW (Advanced Reusable and RobustObjects Warehouse) project, the services it will provide, the research issues it is addressingand how it fits into the whole UK construction Industry Knowledge Base (IKB) system.The ARROW project will require the development of new techniques for selection andretrieval of data across distributed databases. The project is examining how to establish aninterface to distributed databases containing product information, allowing fast andaccurate retrieval of specified products, as well as delivering information in a form useableby CAD systems and other design tools (e.g., thermal simulation programs). Initial work islooking at appropriate product selection and techniques for the refinement of options tonarrow and improve the selection process. Agent technologies are being investigated forretrieval processes, alongside standard methods for retrieval of information. Thoughdeveloping standards (e.g., ISO-STEP, IAI) can be used for the representation of muchinformation about products, the majority of manufacturers do not maintain theirinformation in such a form, and do not have tools to manipulate their data in this form.This paper investigates what toolkits will have to be developed for manufacturers to beable to migrate their product data into the form that would be required to operate within theARROW system. Prototypes of these toolkits will be developed in association with severallarge manufacturers who will be providing the initial population of product data for theproject. This project is in line with the Construct-IT implementation strategy [DOE96a].



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