Federating Cloud Systems for Collaborative Construction and Engineering

The construction industry has undergone a transformation in the use of data to drive its processes and outcomes, especially with the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM). In particular, project collaboration in the construction industry can involve multiple stakeholders (architects, engineers, consultants) that exchange data at different project stages. Therefore, the use of Cloud computing in construction projects has continued to increase, primarily due to the ease of access, availability and scalability in data storage and analysis available through such platforms. Federation of cloud systems can provide greater flexibility in choosing a Cloud provider, enabling different members of the construction project to select a provider based on their cost to benefit requirements. When multiple construction disciplines collaborate online, the risk associated with project failure increases as the capability of a provider to deliver on the project cannot be assessed apriori. In such uncontrolled industrial environments, “trust” can be an efficacious mechanism for more informed decision making adaptive to the evolving nature of such multi-organisation dynamic collaborations in construction. This paper presents a trust based Cooperation Value Estimation (CoVE) approach to enable and sustain collaboration among disciplines in construction projects mainly focusing on data privacy, security and performance. The proposed approach is demonstrated with data and processes from a real highway bridge construction project describing the entire selection process of a cloud provider. The selection process uses the audit and assessment process of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) and real world performance data from the construction industry workloads. Other application domains can also make use of this proposed approach by adapting it to their respective specifications. Experimental evaluation has shown that the proposed approach ensures on-time completion of projects and enhanced

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