Applying Organizational Semiotics for Developing Knowledge-Based Cost Estimation of Construction Project

  • Shen Xu
  • Kecheng Liu
  • Llewellyn CM Tang
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 449)


Cost estimation is a dynamic and knowledge intensive process. Current practice of construction cost estimation is a process with fragmented knowledge. In order to have an integrated process, semantic should be modelled in respect to pragmatic. The investigation of BIM-based cost estimation confirmed that IFC can provide construction project semantics but incapable of relating domain semantics and pragmatics. In order to overcome this gap, we adopt organizational semiotics to fully reveal semantic units of cost estimation from a process perspective. Pilot study confirms feasibility of this approach. Future research will be a case study to collect all the instances for semantic units. Then semantic consistency and pragmatic implementation should be realized by the applications. This research highlights the importance of alignment between semantic (domain ontology) and pragmatic (meaning in use), it contributes also to identify a new approach of knowledge engineering for construction professional services under BIM environment.


analytical cost estimation knowledge representation information system development industry foundation classes quantity surveying 


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shen Xu
    • 1
  • Kecheng Liu
    • 1
  • Llewellyn CM Tang
    • 2
  1. 1.Informatics Research Centre, Henley Business SchoolUniversity of ReadingReadingUK
  2. 2.Department of Architecture and Built EnvironmentUniversity of Nottingham NingboChina

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