Automated compliance checking of construction operation plans using a deontology for the construction domain

Dareen A. Salama, Nora El-Gohary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Automated compliance checking (ACC) in the construction domain continues to be a challenge. Current ACC systems do not provide the level of knowledge representation and reasoning that is needed to efficiently interpret applicable norms (e.g., laws, regulations, contractual requirements, advisory practices) and check conformance of designs and operations to those interpretations. In this paper, the authors explore a new approach to ACC and propose to apply theoretical and computational developments in the fields of deontology, deontic logic, and natural language processing to the problem of compliance checking in construction. Deontology is a theory of rights and obligations, and deontic logic is a branch of modal logic that deals with obligations, prohibitions, and permissions. This paper focuses on presenting a deontology for ACC in construction. The deontic model is composed of a hierarchy of normative concepts, interconcept relations, and deontic axioms (rules represented using deontic logic). The deontology was evaluated through formal competency questions, automated consistency checking, automated redundancy checking, expert evaluation, and application-oriented evaluation. The deontic model was manually applied in checking the compliance of storm-water pollution prevention plans with applicable norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-698
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Automated compliance checking
  • Automated construction management systems
  • Deontology
  • Semantic systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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