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CIFE Data Inventory: A Report on CIFE Data-Intensive Research Projects

TitleCIFE Data Inventory: A Report on CIFE Data-Intensive Research Projects
Publication TypeTechnical Report
Year of Publication1991
AuthorsPhan, DDH, Abdalla, JA, Howard, CH
Date Published10/1991
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Data Integration, Data Modeling, Stanford University
AbstractAs CIFE researchers are rapidly developing intelligent systems to help integrating the facility engineering process, the potential for sharing and reusing data among these systems naturally instigates a need to study these data. This led to the CIFE data inventory task in the Fall of 1990. Its primary objective is two-fold: (1) to better understand the data modeling needs and requirements from the CIFE system developers' perspective and (2) to provide feedback to our ongoing data modeling effort. Eight CIFE research projects were selected for this inventory task on the basis of their intensive data representation effort or of the large amounts of data used in the project. Data in these projects relate to the architecture, structural engineering, and construction aspects of facility engineering and show a strong potential to be shared and reused among the projects. The inventory of data in each project includes three steps. First, the data collection began with interviewing the primary investigator of the project and followed by collecting documentation of the project. Second, the data analysis involves studying the interview protocol and the collected documentation. Last, the data summary identifies the input data, output data, and potential integration points of the system with other systems studied in the inventory. This final step results in a written summary table of the data used in the project. Both the data analysis and the data summary follow a three-tier framework that reveals increasing levels of information about the project. The first level presents the general information about the research project such as research objectives, software and hardware implementation tools, etc. The second level describes the representation and reasoning aspects of the system developed in the project. The third level includes a detailed inventory of the data and knowledge used in that system. As a result of this inventory task, data summary tables of the eight research projects are created using the three-tier framework mentioned above. In addition, other task results are also presented. First, common problem areas in representing facility engineering data in these projects are identified and discussed. Second, as a short-term solution to the data integration problem, key data integration points among the systems are defined and recommended for future CIFE research projects. These integration points are defined along the dimensions of the principal views of facility engineering data (i.e., architectural, structural and construction views) and along the key aspects of form, function, and behavior of structural engineering objects. Form, function, and behavior are emphasized here as the essential building blocks in representing facility engineering data. Third, the issue of software system documentation is brought to attention from observing the system documentation in these projects. For a more effective documentation of system and system data in future work, the same framework used in this inventory task to analyze and summarize data is recommended to system developers.
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