ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 1-24, http://www.itcon.org/2012/1

Framework for semantic reconciliation of construction project information

submitted:June 2010
revised:August 2011
published:January 2012
editor(s):Turk Z.
authors:Ivan Mutis, Associate Research Scientist
University of Florida, USA
email: imutis@ufl.edu

Raja R. A. Issa, Professor
University of Florida, USA
email: raymond-issa@ufl.edu
summary:: The characterization of the AEC domain through the employment of conceptual schemas and standards is challenged with significant problems for exchanging, sharing and integrating information between actors. Semantic gaps or lack of meaning definition at the conceptual and technical level, for example, are prob¬lems fundamentally originated through the employment of representations to map the ‘world’ into models in an endeavor to anticipate other actors’ views, vocabulary, and even motivations. In this paper, the role of information technologies, actors, and representations is first presented within a frame¬work of communication with the purpose of further illustrating the encountered problems in interrelating sour¬ces of information. Secondly, interoperability is examined within the context of interrelating sources of informa¬tion. This explanation supports the claim that the description of concepts into some form of representation does not guarantee the understanding by other members of the community of what is described. Thirdly, an illustration of semantic reconciliation is presented through an engineering example. An approach to semantically reconcile representations is proposed through the study of the internal role of the representations. The research assumption is that if the internal role of a representation is recognized, the treatment of the conveyed semantics can be facilitated, revealing important aspects of the meanings to provide proper understanding during the transition from the source to the interpreter. Particularly, this investigation searches for the fundamental problems of semantically reconciling sources, and introduces theoretical notions from other disciplines to suggest alternative approaches for the encountered problems. Our contribution is to provide clarification of the challenge of reconciling information and to bring attention to the need for further research on the relationship of actors as social subjects and on the representation of information to the community. We anticipate the inclusion of this relationship in the research efforts will lead to a more effective sharing, exchanging, integrating, and communication of information among actors through the employment of IT. 
keywords:Semantics, communication, ontology, conceptual role semantics, conceptual models.
full text: (PDF file, 0.96 MB)
citation:Mutis I, Issa R R A (2012). Framework for semantic reconciliation of construction project information, ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 1-24, http://www.itcon.org/2012/1