From SEEKing Knowledge to Making Connections: Challenges, Approaches and Architectures for Distributed Process Integration

  • William J. O’Brien
  • Joachim Hammer
  • Mohsin Siddiqui
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4200)


Integration and coordination of distributed processes remains a central challenge of construction information technology research. Extant technologies, while capable, are not yet scalable enough to enable rapid customization and instantiation for specific projects. Specifically, the heterogeneity of existing legacy sources together with firms’ range of approaches to process management makes deployment of integrated information technologies impractical. This paper reports on complementary approaches that promise to overcome these difficulties. First, the SEEK: Scalable Extraction of Enterprise Knowledge toolkit is reviewed as a mechanism to discover semantically heterogeneous source data Second, a schedule mapping approach is presented that integrates firms’ diverse individual schedules in a unified representation. The mapping network is supported by a Process Connectors architecture that also incorporates SEEK components. While this paper focuses primary on schedule process integration, the Process Connectors architecture is viewed as providing a broad solution to discovery and integration of firms’ process data.


Supply Chain Mapping Network Build Information Modeling Process Coordination Semantic Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    IAI: End user guide to Industry Foundation Classes, enabling interoperability in the AEC/FM industry. International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) (1996) Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Crowley, A.: The development of data exchange standards: the legacy of CIMsteel. The CIMsteel Collaborators vol. 2001, 6 Pages (1999)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kam, C., Fischer, M.: Product model and 4D CAD final report. Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, Stanford University, 51 pages (2002)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fischer, M.A., Kunz, J.: The Circle: Architecture for Integrating Software. ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 9, 122–133 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Goldberg, H.E.: AEC From the Ground Up: The Building Information Model. Cadalyst (2004)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zamanian, M.K., Pittman, J.H.: A software industry perspective on AEC information models for distributed collaboration. Automation in Construction 8, 237–248 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Turk, Z.: Phenomenological foundations of conceptual product modeling in architecture, engineering, and construction. Artificial Intelligence in Engineering 15, 83–92 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Amor, R., Faraj, I.: Misconceptions about integrated project databases. ITcon 6, 57–66 (2001)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    O’Brien, W.J., Issa, R.R., Hammer, J., Schmalz, M., Geunes, J., Bai, S.: SEEK: Accomplishing enterprise information integration across heterogeneous sources. ITcon - Electronic Journal of Information Technology in Construction - Special Edition on Knowledge Management 7, 101–124 (2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hammer, J., O’Brien, W.: Enabling Supply-Chain Coordination: Leveraging Legacy Sources for Rich Decision Support. In: Geunes, J., Akçali, E., Pardalos, P.M., Romeijn, H.E., Shen, Z.J. (eds.) Applications of Supply Chain Management and E-Commerce Research in Industry, pp. 253–298. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Borghoff, U.M., Schlichter, J.H.: Computer Supported Cooperative Work: Introduction to Distributed Applications. Springer, Heidelberg (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Smith, S.: Is Scheduling a Solved Problem? In: Proceedings of the First MultiDisciplinary Conference on Scheduling: Theory and Applications (MISTA), Nottingham, UK, 16 pages (2003)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    O’Brien, W.J., Fischer, M.A., Jucker, J.V.: An economic view of project coordination. Construction Management and Economics 13, 393–400 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ducq, Y., Chen, D., Vallespir, B.: Interoperability in enterprise modelling: requirements and roadmap. Advanced Engineering Informatics 18, 193–203 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Froese, T.: Models of construction process information. ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 10, 183–193 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Danso-Amoako, M., O’Brien, W.J., Issa, R.: A case study of IFC and CIS/2 support for steel supply chain processes. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE-10), Weimar, Germany, 12 pages (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Pouria, A., Froese, T.: Transaction and implementation standards in AEC/FM industry. In: Proceedings of the 2001 Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineers, Victoria, British Columbia, 7 pages (2001)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Liu, D., Cheng, J., Law, K., Wiederhold, G., Sriram, R.: Engineering information service infrastructure for ubiquitous computing. ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 17, 219–229 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schlenoff, C., Gruninger, M., Tissot, F., Valois, J., Lubell, J., Lee, J.: The Process Specification Language (PSL): Overview and Version 1.0 Specification. NIST, 83 pages (2000)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wiederhold, G.: Weaving data into information. Database Programming and Design 11 (1998)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Castro-Raventós, R.: Comparative Case Studies of Subcontractor Information Control Systems. M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction. University of Florida (2002)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sriprasert, E., Dawood, N.: Multi-constraint information management and visualization for collaborative planning and control in construction. ITcon, Special Issue on eWork and eBusiness 8, 341–366 (2003)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Antill, J.M., Woodhead, R.W.: Critical Path Methods in Construction Practice. Wiley, New York (1990)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    O’Brien, W.J., Fischer, M.A.: Importance of capacity constraints to construction cost and schedule. ASCE Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 126, 366–373 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Mawdesley, M., O’Reilly, M.P., Askew, W.: Planning and controlling construction projects: the best laid plans. Longman, Essex, England (1997)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Smith, S.F., Becker, M.A.: An Ontology for Constructing Scheduling Systems. In: Working Notes of the 1997 AAAI Symposium on Ontological Engineering, 10 pages. AAAI Press, Menlo Park (1997)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hammer, J., Schmalz, M., O’Brien, W., Shekar, S., Haldavnekar, N.: Enterprise knowledge extraction in the SEEK project part I: data reverse engineering. Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering, University of Florida, 30 pages (2002)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Chawathe, S., Garcia-Molina, H., Hammer, J., Ireland, K., Papakonstantinou, Y., Ullman, J., Widom, J.: The TSIMMIS Project: Integration of Heterogeneous Information Sources. In: Tenth Anniversary Meeting of the Information Processing Society of Japan. Information Processing Society, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 7–18 (1994)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bayardo, R., Bohrer, W., Brice, R., Cichocki, A., Fowler, G., Helal, A., Kashyap, V., Ksiezyk, T., Martin, G., Nodine, M., Rashid, M., Rusinkiewicz, M., Shea, R., Unnikrishnan, C., Unruh, A., Woelk, D.: Semantic Integration of Information in Open and Dynamic Environments. MCC (1996)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hammer, J., Breunig, M., Garcia-Molina, H., Nesterov, S., Vassalos, V., Yerneni, R.: Template-based wrappers in the TSIMMIS system. In: Twenty-Third ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data, Tuscon, Arizona, pp. 532–543 (1997)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Hammer, J., Stonebraker, M., Topsakal, O.: THALIA: Test Harness for the Assessment of Legacy Information Integration Approaches. In: Proceedings of the 21st Int’l Conf. on Data Engineering (ICDE 2005), Tokyo, Japan, pages 2 (2005)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    O’Brien, W.J., Hammer, J.: A case study of information integration problems in first responder coalitions. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations (KSCO 2004), Pensacola, Florida, pp. 145–149 (2004)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Siddiqui, M., O’Brien, W.J., Wang, T.: A mapping based approach to schedule integration in heterogeneous environments. In: Proceedings of the Joint International Conference on Computing in Building and Civil Engineering, Montreal, Canada, 10 pages (2006)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Thabet, W.Y., Beliveau, Y.J.: SCaRC: Space-constrained resource-constrained scheduling system. ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 11, 48–59 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Cormen, T.H., Leiserson, C.E., Rivest, R.L., Stein, C.: Introduction to algorithms. MIT Press, Cambridge (2001)MATHGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wang, T.-K., O’Brien, W.J., Siddiqui, M., Hammer, J., Wakefield, R.: Process Connectors: Mapping Distributed Processes in the Construction Supply Chain. In: Proceedings of the Joint International Conference on Computing in Building and Civil Engineering, Montreal, Canada, 10 pages (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. O’Brien
    • 1
  • Joachim Hammer
    • 2
  • Mohsin Siddiqui
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer & Information Science & EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations