Publications / 2019 Proceedings of the 36th ISARC, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Cartesian Points Visualization in Game Simulation for Analyzing Geometric Representations of AEC Objects in IFC

Jiansong Zhang, Yunfeng Chen, Rui Liu and Luciana Debs
Pages 144-151 (2019 Proceedings of the 36th ISARC, Banff, Alberta, Canada, ISBN 978-952-69524-0-6)

Industry foundation classes (IFC) is widely accepted as a promising standard for building information modeling (BIM). IFC data can be processed with many open toolkits such as IfcOpenShell and java standard data access interface (JSDAI), which greatly supports BIM research and technology development. However, IFC data is not intuitive and requires training to understand it fully. As the core of almost any IFC data, understanding geometric representation is critical in most BIM research and technology development. The official IFC schema specifications provide detailed explanations of entities and attributes in IFC, which are helpful for gaining such understanding. However, understanding the explanations in the specifications requires certain knowledge and background. To facilitate an easier understanding of IFC data and to promote a wider adoption of IFC-based BIM, in this paper, an interactive visualization of the formation of fundamental 3D representations of a selected architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) object was created in game simulation in a first-person view. The interactive simulation can help people gain understanding of 3D geometric formation and representation in IFC in an intuitive and speedy manner, which is expected to achieve retention of such knowledge comparable to or better than the conventional way of reading the specifications. The visualization was tested by 14 volunteers in comparison to reading the IFC schema specifications. A survey based on the experiment showed that the game simulation-based visualization was significantly easier to understand and took significantly less time to understand comparing to reading the specifications.

Keywords: BIM; IFC; Geometric Information; AEC Objects; Game Simulation; Visualization; Cartesian Points