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Paper w78_2007_53:
Manipulating IFC sub-models in collaborative teamwork environments

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M. M. Nour

Manipulating IFC sub-models in collaborative teamwork environments

Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of workflow management in collaborative teamwork environments, where multidisciplinary actors and software applications are involved. Design versions or variants may represent dif-ferent development stages, partial designs or solution alternatives that need to be integrated together. The paper pre-sents a novel approach to splitting and merging IFC sub-models (partial models) at different degrees of granularity away from the schema oriented approaches. It relies on an instance oriented approach (FIOPE) Flexible Instance Ori-ented Partial Exchange Environment, that enables end usersí manipulation of the IFC model and consequently the con-tribution to the evolution of exchange patterns which can be formalised later to partial exchange schemata (e.g. EX-PRESS-X ISO 10303 P-14). The process of comparing IFC/STEP modelsí tree structure is neither simple nor straight-forward. Consequently, certain algorithms are developed to overcome the complexity of the IFC EXPRESS-ISO P-11 definition of the IFC model. A whole range of software tools for reading, visualizing, processing and writing IFC/STEP models have been developed to achieve the above interoperability aim.

Keywords: IFC, collaborative team work, partial models, interoperability

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