Semantic representation of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly offsite housing

Tracking #: 3162-4376

This paper is currently under review
Authors: 
Edlira Vakaj
Franco Cheung
Abdel-Rahman H. Tawil
Panagiotis Patlakas
Jianpeng Cao

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editors SW for Industrial Engineering 2022

Submission type: 
Full Paper
Abstract: 
Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) is a fragmented industry dealing with heterogeneous data formats coming from different domains and, despite efforts such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), the gap in information exchange is often major. This challenge is particularly evident in the rapidly emerging field of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA), which deviates from typical construction methodologies. Semantic web technologies are recognized for overcoming challenges of information exchange in isolated domains in many fields, via the publication of standardized linked data that are highly discoverable and machine processable. While ontologies have been proposed for manufacturing processes in general, this work is the first to apply semantic web technologies in the DfMA domain, supporting its integration to typical AEC workflows. A new domain ontology, Offsite Housing Ontology (OHO), is presented. OHO facilitates the semantic integration of offsite construction knowledge, enabling it to be used in DfMA practice. It semantically defines offsite construction domain terminology and relationships, describing a core vocabulary. This supports a unified model, required for efficient collaborative design management, while improving existing data flows. The efficiency and effectiveness of the OHO approach is demonstrated in a real-world DfMA scenario through the development of a Knowledge Based Engineering tool to automate cost estimation. As OHO is extensible, this approach can be adapted and extended to accommodate a very wide range of offsite housing, delivering important optimization and automation benefit from DfMA solutions.
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