Structure of a Formal User Model for Construction Information Retrieval
Information science researchers and developers have spent many years addressing the problem of retrieving the exact information needed and using it for analysis purposes. In informationseeking dialogues, the user, i.e. construction project manager or supplier, often asks questions about specific aspects of the tasks they want to perform. But most of the time it is difficult for the software systems to unambiguously understand their overall intentions. The existence of information tunnels (Tannenbaum 2002) aggravates this phenomenon. This study includes a detailed case study of the material management process in the construction industry. Based on this case study, the structure of a formal user model for information retrieval in construction management is proposed. This prototype user model will be incorporated into the system design for construction information management and retrieval. This information retrieval system is a user-centered product based on the development of a user configurable visitor mechanism for managing and retrieving project information without worrying too much about the underlying data structure of the database system. An executable UML model combined with OODB is used to reduce the ambiguity in the user's intentions and to achieve user satisfaction.
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