Issue No. 03 - June (1996 vol. 11)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/64.506752
<p>The Interdisciplinary Communication Medium computer environment integrates a shared graphic modeling environment with network-based services to accommodate many perspectives in an architecture/engineering/construction team.</p> <p>Communication is critical for achieving better cooperation and coordination among professionals in a multidisciplinary building team. The complexity of large construction projects, the specialization of the project participants, and the different forms of synchronous and asynchronous collaborative work increase the need for intensive information sharing and exchange. Architecture/engineering/construction (A/E/C) professionals use computers to perform a specific discipline's tasks, but they still exchange design decisions and data using paper drawings and documents. Each project participant investigates and communicates alternative solutions through representational idioms that are private to that member's profession. Other project participants must then interpret, extract, and reenter the relevant information using the conventional idioms of their disciplines and in the format required by their tools. The resulting communication difficulties often affect the quality of the final building and the time required to achieve design consensus.</p> <p>This article describes a computer environment, the Interdisciplinary Communication Medium (ICM), that supports conceptual, collaborative building design. The objective is to help improve communication among professionals in a multidisciplinary team. Collaborative teamwork is an iterative process of reaching a shared understanding of the design and construction domains, the requirements, the building to be built, and the necessary commitments. The understanding emerges over time, as team members begin to grasp their own part of the project, and as they provide information that lets others progress. The fundamental concepts incorporated in ICM include</p> <p><li>A communication cycle for collaborative teamwork that comprises propose-interpret-critique-explain-change notifications.</li> <li>An open system-integration architecture.</li> <li>A shared graphic modeling environment for design exploration and communication.</li> <li>A Semantic Modeling Extension (SME), which introduces a structured way to capture design intent.</li> <li>A change-notification mechanism that documents notes on design changes linked to the graphic models, and routes change notifications.</li></p> <p>Thus, the process involves communication, negotiation, and team learning.</p>
R. Fruchter, "Conceptual, Collaborative Building Design Through Shared Graphics," in IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 11, no. , pp. 33-41, 1996.