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


Paper w78-2010-115:
Towards Ontology-Based Management of Distributed Multi-Model Project Spaces

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Sven-Eric Schapke, Peter Katranuschkov, Raimar J. Scherer

Towards Ontology-Based Management of Distributed Multi-Model Project Spaces

Abstract: Collaboration between clients and contractors in construction projects is still poorly supported by ICT due to the lack of a common modelling framework and open service platforms that can enable interoperability and decision making on various management levels. In this paper we present the development of a semantic service environment, elaborated within the frames of the German research project Mefisto. A focus of will be the management of information containers with multiple interrelated information models, which will be illustrated by a use-case scenario. A central challenge of the platform is the management of a distributed multi-model spaces for construction projects where model-based information from various project participants needs to be adequately transformed, exchanged and managed horizontally among different participants and various discipline-specific representations, longitudinally in their temporal development along the project phases and vertically on different levels of abstraction to support different levels of decision making.The information backbone of the platform is developed in anticipation of the fact that not all relevant project data can be structured in a single, all-encompassing schema. It features a layered ontology-based modelling framework comprising selected data model schemas for e.g. building information and construction site modelling, scheduling and process management as well as respective cost and resource controlling. To exchange and manage the respective information models an information container is defined, that provides for encapsulating the models, their interdependencies and corresponding semantic annotations. It represent a logical envelops for handling distributed, yet inter-related model views as single information resources.Complementing the data model framework the multi-model logistics and the operability of the whole platform are grounded on the consistent use of an project collaboration ontology which defines the multi-model information resources on a macro-level as well as the respective organisational entities and the software services needed to create, interpret and exchange these resources.

Keywords: multi-model management, conceptual modelling, ontologies, information logistics


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