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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Integrating data models, analysis and multidimensional visualizations : a unified construction project management arena Ye, Jianguo


Recent trends in construction IT have introduced the ability to produce large, comprehensive, and integrated data sets describing each project. With emerging technologies, these data models can be exchanged between the computer tools that have traditionally been used to support the various construction applications. To date, however, it has not been possible for users to interact with the full range of integrated data in a way that allows them to configure custom views as needed to support ongoing management tasks. This barrier to working with integrated project data models can be decomposed into three categories of problems of IT application in the industry: 1) a data integration problem, 2) a data view configuration problem, and 3) an information presentation integration problem. These call for a new class of software environment named as an Information Aggregator. This dissertation explores computer technologies’ ability to work with integrated model-based project information and solve these three categories of problems. A Unified Construction Project Management Arena (UCPMA) is designed for an Information Aggregator, which allows access to the project information contained in the whole data set and facilitates flexible user-configuration of different views for different project management tasks by exploiting the technologies of data modeling and Industry Foundation Classes data standards, On-line Analytical Processing technologies, and information visualization. The UCPMA consists of three interrelated components corresponding to the three types of problems respectively: a Central Data Model, a Data Winnow, and a Visualization Configuration Model. These components leverage existing technologies and work together to deliver the UCPMA framework which promises benefits of data sharing for information integration, view sharing to incorporate disciplinary work, and dynamic data analysis in a flexible visual configuration environment. A UCPMA prototype system was developed to demonstrate the framework’s ability to fulfill these promises and potential in improving the current construction project management practice, through testing scenarios involving construction project change, risk management and quality control.

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