Digital library of construction informatics
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Paper w78-2010-75:
Developing Coverage Analysis for IFC Files

Facilitated by the SciX project

Robert Lipman

Developing Coverage Analysis for IFC Files

Abstract: Conformance and interoperability testing of product data exchange interfaces is essential to delivering reliable software implementations and meeting user’s expectations. For either type of testing, product data model test files, such as IFC files, are required to test the import and export capabilities of IFC interfaces in software applications. However, the vast extent of information concepts in the IFC schema makes it infeasible to generate a set of test files to provide comprehensive coverage of all concepts and their combinations. Currently industry is using sets of IFC test files that have been contributed by multiple organizations to test data exchange implementations. Therefore, given the sets of test files that are used for testing, it is important to be able to measure and document the coverage of information concepts that are contained in the files. The coverage analysis of a set of test files can be based on many metrics. Coverage analysis metrics can be based on concepts that are generic to all files, such as the use of property sets, enumerations, geometric representations, and commonly used optional attributes. Metrics for coverage analysis can also be based on concepts specific to a particular domain or model view definition such as precast concrete or energy simulation. Software is being developed to implement various metrics related to the coverage analysis concepts and applied to sets of IFC files, such as those used in the past buildingSMART IFC certification process and the current model view definitions developed for IFC implementations. Ultimately, the results of coverage analysis will determine if a set of test files used provides sufficient coverage of all the relevant concepts that need to be tested.

Keywords: IFC, coverage analysis, software testing, conformance, interoperability


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