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Why New Daedalus?

Daedalus was the mythical great architect and artificer of the classical world. Today, embedded intelligence is enabling the most profound changes in the way we create and use buildings since his day.

Building Intelligence meets the Intelligent Building. The Intelligent Building negotiates with the Intelligent Grid. How will this transform how we interact with the physical world?

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Synapses between the Standards.

There are several large fat standards, or possibly standards of standards, that are struggling to be born right now. These large standards deal with capital assets and the way we describe and interact with them. These standards deal with energy and how we use it. These standards describe things that grew up before the effects of IT on how we look at systems. Now, they are learning to interact with the world of information.

I am more interested in the space between these standards. Just as in two areas of the brain trying to interact, the action is all at the synapses. It is at the synapses that new ideas are formed, and that new actions are embarked upon. Yet few are talking about the synapses. ll, missing the point.

The standards that I am currently focusing on are:

  • NBIMS : This is what I would call Building Intelligence. Someone once said, “A Cynic knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” Well NBIMS is the cynic in the world of physical assets. It can describe everything, but it does not know what any of them are used for. Still, there is a lot of valuable knowledge embedded in the years of work of the IFC. Many of the objects within their realm actually tie out to things that business owners actually recognize that they bought. I am hoping to use these objects, and their names, in several realms. I am convinced that Building Intelligence is essential to addressing issues of performance and, comfort, and health, and of laying the groundwork for what FIATECH calls “The Self Maintaining, Self-Repairing Facility.
  • oBIX: Building Controls are the opposite of NBIMS. They know everything that goes on in the building, but have no idea why. Building controls are detail oriented and process centric, and they expect those who communicate with them to be the same. As it is my home domain, where I work on my day job, am trying to get oBIX to learn from its neighbors. Intelligent Buildings meet Building Intelligence.
  • GridWise . GridWise looks to recast power generation, transmission, distribution, and use into separate entities with knowable surfaces. It wants to enable intelligent e-commerce between the above, with no presumptions as to the business models followed. based upon the standards e-Business. It will require formal values-driven ontologies of power that can be consumed and priced in real time by consumer agents. The intelligent grid cannot exist without intelligent buildings.
  • Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and Emergency Management. I lump these together not only because they work closely together, but because they both focus on situation awareness. OGC breaks the long-standing GIS model of “Tell me everything (in advance) that you want to know, I will put it all in my database, and let you query it in defined ways. OGC instead says “Geo-tag your sensors and expose them as web services. If I want them on my map I will ask my computer to surf to your server and map them. Google Earth Mash-ups become real time.

Where do we find the systems, the functions, to pull this together. I am a biologist by training, and I often consider how unappreciated is the value of pre-adaption to evolution. Gills could be calcified to become chests and hips. Stubby little fins could attach to calcified gills to support walking on land. Left over degenerative calcified gill structures could become bones of the ear.

In an analogous way, I think the structures discovered at the interface of NBIMS and oBIX become the pre-adaptations for discoverable abstract surfaces for enterprise interactions with buildings, including those of the Intelligent Grid. The intelligent interface that follows becomes the basis for abstract discoverable surfaces. These surfaces enable the development of agents that manage the customer faces of GridWise.

Emergency management wants two-way interaction with engineered systems, both ways probable relying on OGC metadata. Can EM send Distribution Elements to buildings / distribution grids / etc alerting them of current situations? What if I geo-tag my building sensors? What if I geo-tag my Sub-station data. Can sensors in engineered systems provide situational awareness the EM personnel during a situation?

This site is a meant as a mosh pit where these approaches, these domains can slam into one another. By moshing we can create the interactions that will discover the surfaces.

Please, don’t send me emails with your comments. Post your comments below, where it will be more fun for us all.

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Reader Comments (3)

From my perspective, building this "Synoptic" synaptic ontology (Upper Ontology?) would be useful. The ways to do this are many, and thus some guidance towards the stated goals is essential. Steve Ray, Dir. of MEL at NIST has long advocated "Standards for Standards" but has had little success with a top down strategy. Your strategy appears to be more bottom up, and thus doable in the abstract with one or more ontology editing tools. Perhaps a "straw man" eGov or power infrastructure model might be constructed and/or presented for comments and improvements on this forum?

May 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob Smith

I'm not sure bottom up is the right way to characterize this. I (like everyone else) has been in the bottom-up and top-down discussions for years. I think is it the focus on the service/surface. Outside the domain, keep it about what service is being requested/performed. Inside the domain, keep it as rich as it needs to be.

Perhaps a "straw man" eGov or power infrastructure model might be constructed and/or presented for comments and improvements on this forum?

I'm happy to try, but I'm not sure what you mean. How would I recognize if I had done so? I'm intrigued and want you to flesh out the request.

May 6, 2007 | Registered CommenterToby Considine

The "Straw-Man" model would be a user of Intelligent Building Services who needs advice before taking action within this system. For example, Steven Flynn is touring the US giving lectures on the state of the US infrastructure such as the Sacramento Delta (which provides 1/3 to 2/3 of So.Cal water). He is getting some traction in raising the awareness of Water Masters, but if Steve had access to the five services then his advice would/could be much more vivid, comprehensive, and actionable.

So I began modeling. The 5 organizations behind each of the "fat standards" include people with an agenda. There is some liaison between each of the 5 ( N*(N-1). The 5 standards have surfaces to which an Intelligent Building System connects. So the OGC Life-cycle framework puts some costs and benefits of postponing vs fastracking repairs/redesigns of the site-specific processing facilities; Disaster Response and Emergency Communication standards and pilot tests from EM TC enable Steve to factor in disaster zones, etc.

This very incomplete draft conceptual model raises additional questions. But your idea of thinking about the inputs and outputs from each of these 5 fat standards became much more interesting when I focused upon a person with a passion about huge public-private infrastructure issues that need attention. Agents might fit into this advisory role (Google "CALO SRI" )

(Google Steve Flynn "Edge of Disaster")

I am attaching to an email the two graphics diagramming how some user connects with the System. TO BE CONTINUED.

May 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBob Smith

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