BimSPARQL: Domain-specific functional SPARQL extensions for querying RDF building data

Tracking #: 1720-2932

This paper is currently under review
Chi Zhang
Jakob Beetz1

Responsible editor: 
Guest Editors ST Built Environment 2017

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Full Paper
In this paper, we propose to extend SPARQL functions for querying Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) building data. The official IFC documentation and BIM requirement checking use cases are used to drive the development of the proposed functionality. By extending these functions, we aim to 1) simplify writing queries and 2) enhance query abilities to retrieve useful information implied in 3D geometry data according to requirement checking use cases. Extended functions are modelled as RDF vocabularies and classified into groups for further extensions. We combine declarative rules with procedural programming to implement extended functions. Real use cases and building models are used to demonstrate the value of this approach and indicate query performance. Compared with query techniques developed in the conventional Building Information Modeling domain, we show the added value of such approach by providing an extended application example of querying building and regulatory data, where spatial and logic reasoning can be applied and data from multiple sources are required. Based on the development, we discuss the applicability of proposed approach, current issues and future challenges.
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