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Paper w78-2011-Paper-64:
THE WOMBRA PROJECT: A WEB-BASED ONTOLOGY-ENHANCED MULTI-PURPOSE BUILDING-REGULATION RETRIEVAL APPLICATION FOR SCOTTISH TECHNICAL STANDARDS

Facilitated by the SciX project

L McGibbney, B Kumar

THE WOMBRA PROJECT: A WEB-BASED ONTOLOGY-ENHANCED MULTI-PURPOSE BUILDING-REGULATION RETRIEVAL APPLICATION FOR SCOTTISH TECHNICAL STANDARDS

Abstract: An increasing amount of professional work within the domain of sustainable design and construction is becoming dependent on retrieving regulatory and advisory information over the web quickly. A common recognition that advanced search and retrieval technologies enable enormous amounts of information to be accessed has emerged. However, as a result designers and builders are finding it increasingly difficult to identify this information and assimilate them in their activities. Commercial search engines provide a generic and inaccurate method of retrieving relevant information for domain-specific needs in a focussed manner. Therefore, there is a need for developing intelligent domain-specific search and retrieval technologies under a structured information management framework. This paper presents Wombra: a web-based information search and retrieval application which employs domain specific ontology to identify (in particular) relevant energy performance building regulations. The framework builds on our previously established model, incorporating an HTTP SPARQL server, which supports the SPARQL RDF query language allowing additional truths to be inferred from our ontologies. Firstly we introduce the design and development of the customised, domain specific web search platform. Related research in this field accompanies this introduction. A theoretical model justifies the choice of technologies used and the basic construction of the search application itself. Further, we provide the reasoning behind our requirement to establish an ontology library with specific application to Scottish Technical Standards. We conclude this paper with various observations relating to on-going experiments and a discussion on future research areas. The Wombra project is being developed in collaboration with a Scottish City Councilís building control department who are actively validating the value of our approach in their daily activity of checking and approving designs for construction.

Keywords: Search and Information Retrieval, Ontology, Construction, Building Regulations, Scotland

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