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Paper w78-2010-33:
Development of Decentralized Information and Communication System for AEC

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Robert Klinc, Ziga Turk, Matevz Dolenc

Development of Decentralized Information and Communication System for AEC

Abstract: During the transition from traditional to ICT supported engineering communication and collaboration, the type of interaction between AEC project collaborators changed. A thorough review of a number of national and European projects shows that the topology of interaction evolved from the traditional fully interconnected model where people talk to each other directly to the centralized, star shaped model where collaborators talk to each other through the intermediary. Star model with central point of interaction offers a more efficient and less complex way to manage communication, although it affects the way professionals work, as it does not support core engineering processes and tasks but forces new ones. In that way, professionals are determined by the technology they use.Nonetheless, current trends in ICT are encouraging because they focus mainly on people and processes and less on technology. The tipping point for the (engineering) communication and collaboration came with the popularity of web 2.0 and widespread social networks that are by their nature mostly decentralized. Fast emerging social networking applications are becoming the preferred method of communication in personal as well as in business environment. From the technological point of view, newly developed solutions are focused towards SaaS model and especially cloud computing.The paper provides an overview of characteristics of the engineering communication and collaboration as well as the ICT technologies that shaped the AEC environment. In addition, key technological trends are outlined, system architecture is proposed and ICT communication system prototype presented.

Keywords: communication, collaboration, Web 2.0, informal communication systems

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