1. Develop a set of data structures, or code templates, to extend semantic relationships that already exist in Construction Specification Institute [CSI] formats and classification schemes.


Knot, by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications while talking about tracing their ideas and opinions.

2. Map UniFormat [UF] > MasterFormat 2004 [MF2004] > OmniClass [OCCS] > applicable standards, specification clauses, building codes, performance requirements and open data exchange requirements to capture and direct exchange patterns across areas where those classifications, formats, and standards are used.


Simplest Knots in Topology at Encyclopedia Britannica, the Interactive Images on their website are better quality and more fun.

3. Link core concepts across typical architectural classifications and exchange standards to demonstrate their utility for particular building types and services.  Thus generating a series of code and exchange templates that can be used by facility type, design, location, use group, code requirements and so on as expressed within an evolving framework of cross-references and semantic relationships.


Orange Diamond244 by Cynthia McCabe at University of Wisconsin while talking about knot theory and its applications

4. Work with the Construction Specification Institute [CSI], International Framework for Dictionaries [IFD], and National Building Information Modeling Standard [NBIMS] Consensus and Model Implementation Guide (MIG) teams,  buildingSMART alliance [bSa], International Alliance for Interoperability [IAI] and others to create shared definitions and logical structures working towards an open library of digital objects and terms.


Knot Table180 by Thomas Fink Investigator at the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences.


Mathematical knot crossings with the untying functions written out below, from the paper “A Polynomial Invariant for Unoriented Knots and Links” by Robert D. BrandtW.B.F. Lickorish, and Kenneth C. Millet.

5. Identify and highlight instances where Construction Operations Building Information Exchange [COBIE], including Spatial Compliance Information Exchange (SCIE) included in verification of designer cost estimate, and Coordinated View Information Exchange (CVIE) included in design quality specs, may be used to expose the classification and web exchange requirements of particular kinds of spaces, systems, and registered facility types.

Physical Processes / Knot Topology / Physical Processes #2

Physical Processes / Knot Topology / Physical Processes #2 by Aram Mekjian at Rutgers Physics Department who is also a painter.

6. Formalize the description of the purpose(s) of a facility and associated services expected from the building systems to develop the beginning of a compliance framework to understand and capture if the services being provided are in accordance with required performance metrics.  Refer to the Building Service Performance project for more information.


Three fundamental moves 78 one can use in Knot theory to see whether two knots are equivalent.  From BlogPhysica started by some of the physics students of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur.

7. Coordinate with similar efforts using the Ontology Web Language (OWL) and Extensible Markup Language (XML) specifications.  Examples include Ontolog, Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) particularly Open Building Information Xchange (OBIX), and the EU funded Inteligrid, Specifications Web Offset Publications (SWOP) and Open Building Manufacturing (ManuBuild) projects.


Above: Layer Cake. Below: Standards at W3 from a talk by Steve Bratt


8. A future goal is for the information specification (IFC) and ontology (IFD) definition work to be referenced in NBIMS to fit within one shared diagram that has been drawn by w3 and nicknamed a “layer cake” where IFC and IFD activities are specific instances of a box (or boxes) within the diagram.  The specification templates envisioned above would be a fine grained expansion or supplementary layering of the cake and open standards as needed. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) eConstruction reports are ideal examples of the goal.


4D Lattice (402) by Etienne Ghys and Jos Leys talking about a tangled tale linking lattices, knots, templates, and strange attractors.

9. Using the system of cross referencing and placeholders with optimized web transfer paths is intended to reduce the size of data structures and building models by incorporating large structural portions by reference rather than in the models themselves.  Today, a typical building information model can’t go “all the way through the specification process” due to file size.  Another problem is lack of coordination of generic terms and performance based specifications across the industry (rather than brand names and proprietary processes).  If more external references and structured semantic web placeholders could be used instead, up to date information could be stored elsewhere and the latest versions could be referenced in, keeping models and specifications more correct, complete, and compact.


MS Multicast IP & Windows Media Technologies Deployment

10. The envisioned specification templates can be adapted and reused for more than building information models including: music, cooking and recipes; scientific research; building cases about previous interpretations and prior art;  art projects of all kinds; selecting components and putting together better assemblies, assigning placement, careful registration procedures, precise recording of time and physical locations. The purpose is making drawings and maps with better quality control and exchange procedures freeing up people’s time to do what they do best ~ CREATING THINGS ~ AND MAKING SENSE OF THEM ~ TO CAPTURE BEAUTY ~ meanwhile also improving the performance of machines and networks to help us with this work.


Norman Walsh at Sun Microsystems Inc, talking about Managing XML Assets in a Developing Environment

The results of the classification work described above will be shared with open source and standards organizations to try out a variety of scenarios. For more information or to support this effort, please contact Projects Director Deborah MacPherson.


12 thoughts on “CLASSIFICATION

  1. All I have to say about this post is that the topic chosen for discussion is one of the most challenging and is really very less talked about, I will help with some resources as well and I hope you will get enough information from the experts here. I will keep it concise and best to my knowledge. Please reply and post here if you really find this information helpful, also write about how you applied this, so that it can help other people as well. Thanks for starting the topic, here is what you need to do….

  2. Hi Brandon – Curious – looking forward to what you will say. In my work as a specifications writer I apply classification to building and space types and properties. Mainly for purposes of public safety with an effort to enable fire departments to pull information they need – in a project called Open Floor Plan Display / Exchange. There are also applications for sustainable design.

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