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Paper w78-2011-Paper-126:
Making a smudge on collective (un)conscious: designing collaborative platforms for construction

Facilitated by the SciX project

A Yurchyshyna, M Léonard

Making a smudge on collective (un)conscious: designing collaborative platforms for construction

Abstract:Collaboration and collaborative environments have been playing an increasingly important role in theconstruction domain. Designing and process modeling, knowledge management and dissemination,communities of practice – this is just an initial list of the building-related activities that benefit fromcollaboration- and services approaches characterizing the construction industry. In this paper, we discuss the phenomenon of collaboration in construction, study the existingcollaborative platforms that are used (or might be applicable) for different building-related activitiesand identify the main challenges that are currently not addressed in the current researches. Wefurthermore underline the role of services-oriented technologies for modeling industry- and businessrelatedprocesses,andshowhowtheyhavebeendefactoimplementedfortheconstructionindustry.Despitea largenumberofdifferentfit-for-purposecollaborativeplatformsforconstruction,weneverthelessunderlinethenecessityofa semanticallyrichcollaborativeenvironmentforheterogeneousconstructionexpertsthatwouldallowthemtokeeptheirownterminologyandworkingpractices,buttoacquireasharedunderstandingofacommontaskwithoutlosingitsintegrity.Inordertodoso,weintroduceourservices-basedapproachforactionalizingthe expert knowledgeand developing an information kernel of a discussed task. This approach forms a theoreticalfoundation for developing a collaborative platform, the Cross-Pollination Space, the semantics ofwhich is dynamically modeled by ontologies and the related interactions are enabled by services. Weshow how this framework allows enriching the collaborative environment during its functioning andsupports expert collaboration without imposing an artificial platform-specific terminology and/orcollaboration patterns.Finally, we canvas the ongoing and future works related to this research and discuss the particularitiesof their contextualization for the construction industry.

Keywords:collaboration in construction, shared semantics, expert knowledge, collaborative platforms, service approach in construction

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