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The role of semantics in enhancing user experience in building and city web applications

Hodorog, Andrei ORCID: 2023. The role of semantics in enhancing user experience in building and city web applications. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis embarks on an exploratory journey through Building Information Modelling (BIM) and City Information Modelling (CIM) within web applications, aiming to significantly uplift citizen engagement and satisfaction. At its core, the thesis proposes an innovative framework that uses semantics to intricately weave contextual information into user experience (UX), fostering innovative applications tailored to the built environment. The intellectual pursuit is meticulously structured around three pivotal research questions, each unfolding a distinct but interconnected inquiry stage. The first research question delves into Enhancing Learning UX with Semantics. It seeks to uncover how semantics can amplify the learning experience within existing web applications. This stage is marked by the development of a semantic web-based mining environment meticulously designed to unravel and map the intricate web of roles and skills pivotal in BIM. The endeavour goes beyond mere identification; it strategically establishes correlations, paving the way for learning pathways tailored and resonant with the evolving dynamics of the built environment. Progressing to the second stage, the thesis casts its investigative net into Context Derivation in Smart Cities. This stage is not just about exploring methods but pioneering ways to extract context from the rich tapestry of static and dynamic artefacts embedded within a Digital Twin framework. The goal? To elevate the UX in smart city applications to unprecedented heights. This stage is characterised by the strategic leveraging of BIM semantics, with the aim of transforming the user experience of a diverse cohort of stakeholders, ranging from architects and urban planners to engineers. It is an endeavour that transcends the conventional, blending advanced methodologies to enrich interactions within the web of smart city ecosystems. The journey culminates with the third research question, which focusses on Semantic Scaling and Social Media Analysis. This stage is visionary in its approach, envisioning the scaling of semantics at the city level and positioning citizens as active sensors in an ever-evolving urban landscape. The ambition is grand – to develop a taxonomy model rooted in a semantic-based risk model. However, the thesis does not stop there; it ventures into the vibrant world of social media data streams. By applying sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) techniques, research meticulously sifts through digital chatter, aiming to uncover hidden narratives that weave together environmental factors, risk events, and the pulse of citizen satisfaction. The findings of this thesis are not only insightful; they are transformative. The research demonstrates the practical applicability of semantics across three core dimensions. In socio organisational aspects, the thesis sheds light on the dynamic nature of construction skills, underscoring the imperative for adaptive training methodologies that keep pace with the rapid evolution of BIM roles. The exploration does not stop at the micro level; it extends its gaze to the macro-grain of the built environment. The thesis showcases the profound impact of advanced web technologies, such as the VueJS front-end framework and innovative web builders. When these technological marvels are harmoniously integrated with core UX principles, they unravel complex phenomena, weaving a tapestry of enhanced UX within the pulsating heart of smart cities. The thesis also pioneers social media analytics, presenting it as a formidable information source that can significantly shape smart city decision making. The insights gleaned are not just data points; they are statistically significant revelations that empower stakeholders, offering them the clarity and foresight to make decisions that are not just informed but visionary. As such, this thesis is not just a scholarly endeavour, but a beacon that illuminates the path for future explorations and developments. It is a testament to the synergistic fusion of information science techniques and smart city communities, significantly contributing to the rapidly evolving landscape of semantic integration and UX enhancement within the built environment. The journey embarked on in this thesis is not just about answering questions; it is about charting new territories, opening new horizons, and setting the stage for a future where the built environment is not just smart, but sentient, responsive, and perpetually in tune with the needs and aspirations of its citizens.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1). User Experience 2). Semantic Web 3). Semantic Ontologies 4). Building Information Modelling 5). Natural Language Processing 6). Social Media Mining
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 February 2024
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2024 13:25

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