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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 37
Edited by: B. Kumar
Paper II.4

Multi-Agent Collaborative Case-Based Estimating and Design in Nirmani: Organising a Multi-Perspective Case Memory

S. Perera and I.D. Watson

Department of Surveying, University of Salford, United Kingdom

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
S. Perera, I.D. Watson, "Multi-Agent Collaborative Case-Based Estimating and Design in Nirmani: Organising a Multi-Perspective Case Memory", in B. Kumar, (Editor), "Information Processing in Civil and Structural Engineering Design", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 53-64, 1996. doi:10.4203/ccp.37.2.4
IT solutions to problems in construction design need to consider the perspectives of all the experts (or agents) involved; only then can IT provide a platform for integration. It is expensive to solve similar construction design problems from first principles. However, in practice designers and estimators reuse previous designs and estimates. The research described in this paper examines issues involved in the integration of many disciplines in construction with the use of Case-Based Reasoning techniques for the reuse of designs and estimates. It describes a perspective-based hierarchical case memory structure and a series of indexing methods for multi-stage retrieval. Construction projects are organised in to domain cases consisting of a hierarchy of meta, perspective and sub cases. Design and estimating cases selected for reuse are adapted with the use of sub-cases and domain specific adaptation rules. A prototype system NIRMANI (meaning designer in "Sinhalese") is currently being implemented encapsulating the case memory organisation and retrieval strategies described in this paper. This multi-agent system provides a common platform for a design team to support collaborative design.

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