G. Paskaleva, A. Mazak-Huemer, S. Sint, T. Bednar: Standardized Data Integration in the AEC Domains - What does it take to succeed? WBC 2022, World Building Congress, June 27-30, 2022, Melbourne, Australia. pdf
Data models are the backbone of digital information exchange, since they contain the data to be exchanged. Just as information requirements vary, so do data models – in level of detail, level of abstraction, and in domain coverage. These variations are the reason for the ease of communication between some data models and for the difficulty in communication between others. Regarding the Building Information Model (BIM) initiative, the IFC standard’s data model has varying detail and abstraction levels and large domain coverage. In contrast, the Austrian ÖGG guideline, for example, has a consistent detail and abstraction level and focuses on a single domain – subsurface modelling. In order for such data models to participate in loss- and distortion-free information exchange, a reliable translation via, e.g., third data models is necessary.
In this paper, we present formal criteria for distinguishing between semantics-carrying data models, such as IFC and ÖGG, and translating data models that provide reliable communication bridges between them, such as XML, CAEX and SIMULTAN. We will show that translating data models are an indispensable part of the data model infrastructure even within a single domain. In addition, we will derive the minimal set of attributes of such models and demonstrate their necessity on a use case from the subsurface engineering domain.