Neural semantic tagging for natural language-based search in building information models: Implications for practice

Date: 2024-02-20


While the adoption of open Building Information Modeling (open BIM) standards continues to grow, the inherent complexity and multifaceted nature of the built asset lifecycle data present a critical bottleneck for effective information retrieval. To address this challenge, the research community has started to investigate advanced natural language-based search for building information models. However, the accelerated pace of advancements in deep learning-based natural language processing research has introduced a complex landscape for domain-specific applications, making it challenging to navigate through various design choices that accommodate an effective balance between prediction accuracy and the accompanying computational costs. This study focuses on the semantic tagging of user queries, which is a cardinal task for the identification and classification of references related to building entities and their specific descriptors. To foster adaptability across various applications and disciplines, a semantic annotation scheme is introduced that is firmly rooted in the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema. By taking a comparative approach, we conducted a series of experiments to identify the strengths and weaknesses of traditional and emergent deep learning architectures for the task at hand. Our findings underscore the critical importance of domain-specific and context-dependent embedding learning for the effective extraction of building entities and their respective descriptions.

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