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Title: Detecting logical relationships in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems with BIM using graph matching
Authors: Wang, Yongqi
Zhang, Limao
Yu, Hongbo
Tiong, Robert Lee Kong
Keywords: Engineering::Civil engineering
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Wang, Y., Zhang, L., Yu, H. & Tiong, R. L. K. (2022). Detecting logical relationships in mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems with BIM using graph matching. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 54, 101770-.
Journal: Advanced Engineering Informatics
Abstract: The increasingly complex design has gained difficulty in conducting the rule compliance checking for the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) system in the design phase. Useful rule-checking systems could contribute to a quicker project delivery time. Currently, an efficient method for checking the logical relationship is still lacking. This study aims to propose an MEP rule checking framework using the subgraph matching technology. First, the MEP components in the BIM model are extracted by utilizing the application programming interface (API), and a graph database is established with point-based and curve-based instances being nodes and relationships, respectively. Second, the graph database is simplified to increase the speed of graph matching. Third, the rules, which regulate how the MEP components should be connected, are represented by a knowledge graph. Finally, rule checking is achieved by comparing the graph database against the knowledge graph, and the critical path in a sub-system is detected by calculating the betweenness centrality. A case study with a rail station is used to evaluate the approach where the overall model checking and rule checking are conducted on the original and simplified graph databases sequentially. The results show that the proposed approach could achieve the rule compliance checking at a high speed, and 6 unconnected instances along with 155 problematic pipe fittings have been found. Besides, the critical path for the selected ACS system is from the water-cooled chiller to the condenser water pump. The proposed framework could help in the overall model checking and rule checking process, improving the efficiency of BIM engineers. This research demonstrates that converting a BIM model into a graph database can benefit conventional BIM analysis methods by incorporating advanced technologies (e.g., artificial intelligence) to enable a more flexible and accurate MEP design process.
ISSN: 1474-0346
DOI: 10.1016/j.aei.2022.101770
Schools: School of Civil and Environmental Engineering 
Rights: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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