Digital library of construction informatics
and information technology in civil engineering and construction


Paper w78-1997-375:
Software agents and robots in construction:an outlook

Facilitated by the SciX project

Turk Z

Software agents and robots in construction:an outlook

Abstract: The rapid growth of the World Wide Web (Web) has spawned some rather new technologies forhandling the vast amount of information available there. Services like Yahoo, AltaVista and Virtual SoftwareLibrary use web crawling robots and agents to gather the information. Construction information processes havemany similarities to the Internet - both are fragmented, there are numerous information sources and theinformation is poorly structured. We have successfully applied similar technologies that have proven themselveson the Internet to handle construction information. Custom robots and an agent-enabled database have beendeveloped and have been used in the on-going research projects. They have proven useful on the globalconstruction scope of a construction virtual library, on a narrower national scope of regulation managementand on the project level to manage documents. The paper identifies the problems, introduces the technologies,demonstrates how they were used in construction context and concludes that in a client-server environment suchas the Internet or an intranet, agent technology is an important building block of CIC environments.

Keywords: construction information technology, computerization of building regulations, documentmanagement, virtual libraries, Internet, intranet, agent, robot, database.


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