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Paper w78-2011-Paper-42:
ONTOLOGY-BASED SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AND DISTRIBUTED INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN THE AEC-FM INDUSTRY

Facilitated by the SciX project

Y Deshpande, H Leslie

ONTOLOGY-BASED SOFTWARE ENGINEERING AND DISTRIBUTED INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN THE AEC-FM INDUSTRY

Abstract: Decision-making in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction and Facility Management (AEC-FM) industry is highly distributed across individuals, organizations, national economies, and over a full facility lifecycle measured in decades. Information management in this environment presents problems to all concerned - the practitioners themselves, manufacturers and suppliers, regulators and even clients and users. For the AEC-FM industry, given its size, information management needs to be tackled through an orchestrated set of modest initiatives leading to a distributed set of interactive components– each able to function independently while serving the larger needs of the industry. A companion paper identifies and deals with three major levels at which the problems have to be solved. The top level is ontological and looks at how the industry might develop and maintain an agreed way of identifying and describing the entities about which data are accessed, processed and exchanged by its decision-makers. The second level is concerned with how this controlled vocabulary can be used to identify and make application specific resources (information, products, materials, and ICT tools) available to the project decision maker. The third level is concerned with making the resources from the other two levels available to support distributed decision-making. Ontology-based Software Engineering is a recent phenomenon wherein the development approach varies from creating more general tools to domain specific solution strategies. This paper reports on a prototype software package applicable at the top, industry-wide level, which demonstrates the feasibility and the desirability of ontological solutions specifically for the AEC-FM sector. The outcome could become part of infrastructure for sector-wide application development.

Keywords: Performance-based project data, Product/Process data management, Ontologies, Ontology-based Software Engineering, ICT, BIM

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