ITcon Vol. 20, pg. 1-23,

Enabling real time simulation of architecture, engineering, construction, and facility management (AEC/FM) systems: a review of formalism, model architecture, and data representation.

submitted:December 2013
revised:October 2014
published:January 2015
editor(s):Ruikar K.
authors:Amir H. Behzadan, Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, University of Central Florida

Carol C. Menassa, Assistant Professor and John L. Tishman Faculty Scholar
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

Anu R. Pradhan, Assistant Professor
Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
summary:Within the past few years, simulation and modeling have been adopted by the Architecture, Engineering, Construction, and Facility Management (AEC/FM) industry because it provides unique opportunities to transform traditional human-centered decision-making in design, planning, execution, and maintenance practices into simulation-centered decision-making. This allows a decision-maker to understand system behavior, and predict future events without having to test scenarios and interfere with the current operations of an existing system. However, a major challenge in transitioning from human-centered decision- making to simulation-centered decision-making is to establish methods and guidelines that facilitate seamless integration of field data into project planning, monitoring and control, and operation. This integration of field data into a simulation model allows the dynamics and evolving nature of events that may occur in a real system to be integrated into the simulation for effective decision-making. The goal of this paper is to conduct a vigorous review and investigate the underlying challenges associated with aspects such as modular design, data interfaces and translation, and model development and validation. In particular, this paper: 1) presents Discrete Event Simulation Specification (DEVS) as a simulation formalism that facilitates decision-making across a single operation (e.g. earthmoving); 2) reviews High Level Architecture (HLA) as a distributed simulation platform that allows for the coupling of several standalone simulation models and data sources to improve decision-making across complex systems; and 3) describes the hierarchy of multimodal data sources for simulation and different formalisms (i.e. model representations) that facilitate storage and querying of real time data to support simulation and distributed simulation models. The materials presented in this paper are the latest findings of an ongoing collaborative project being conducted by the Simulation Taskforce of the Visualization, Information Modeling, and Simulation (VIMS) Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and aim to lay the foundation for future research and implementation efforts in AEC/FM domain-specific real-time simulation systems. In the long term, work in this area will enable researchers to address some of the most fundamental problems in AEC/FM simulation modeling.
keywords:Real time systems, process simulation, formalism, knowledge modeling, decision-making, high level architecture, interoperability
full text: (PDF file, 11.032 MB)
citation:Behzadan A H, Menassa C C, Predhan A R (2015). Enabling real time simulation of architecture, engineering, construction, and facility management (AEC/FM) systems: a review of formalism, model architecture, and data representation., ITcon Vol. 20, pg. 1-23,