Development of Framework for Extending TransXML to Steel Bridge Construction
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Increasingly steel bridges are built from three dimensional models. The current practice of model building is carried out by repeated manual transcription of data input from various forms of document by different stakeholders. In the manual transit of data, there is always possibility of error, misses or omissions. At any instance of time, different stakeholders of the same bridge project are spending their resources in achieving the same goal (building steel bridge), on different sets of information. This creates bottle necks during the construction stage, where several different contractors and stakeholders are involved. Use of BrIM (Bridge Information Model) is the future of knowledge management in bridge building process. BrIM fosters the reuse of data beyond bridge design and engineering to downstream processes such as fabrication, construction, operation, maintenance and inspection. The close cooperation required of stakeholders during these phases depends not only on data reuse but also smooth interoperability between software/data systems. NCHRP Project 20-64 developed a set of Extensible Markup Language (XML) schemata, called TransXML, to facilitate interoperability among transportation software applications. But the bridge structure schemata were not formulated to encompass bridge construction. This dissertation addresses one of the gaps in the development of comprehensive TransXML schemata, i.e., for Steel Bridge Construction. From data Lexicons identified, Uniform Markup Language (UML) methodology is used to build modeling constructs to serve as a foundational framework for a comprehensive Steel Bridge Construction Data Model (SBCDM). This framework will facilitate XML based data transfer by various members of the design and construction team. By using the transferred information and starting from a 3D basic model, the fabricator can augment the design information directly. The framework created and schema produced is evaluated by stakeholders within the bridge industry for correctness and missing model constructs. The developed framework is validated in part by a Python programming language implementation used to create 3D bridge components and connections in a detailing software application. When fully developed, the resulting Steel Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM) framework is anticipated to serve the needs of bridge owners beyond analysis and design into accelerated bridge construction processes and in-service asset management of steel bridges.