Knowledge-enhanced graph neural networks for construction material quantity estimation of reinforced concrete buildings

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Abstract

The construction material quantity (CMQ) is widely concerned in the structural design of reinforced concrete buildings and is often included among the objective functions of computer-aided optimization design techniques. To minimize construction cost and carbon emissions, an accurate and efficient CMQ estimation method is timely required. In this study, a novel graph neural network (GNN) is proposed, whose architecture and loss function are specifically designed for CMQ estimation. With a heterogeneous feature fusion mechanism, the GNN can automatically extract features from all CMQ-related information, in contrast to the existing data-driven methods that rely heavily on manually selected features. By further incorporating a prior knowledge inclusion strategy, the GNN can avoid fundamental errors that might be encountered by purely data-driven methods. To enrich the diversity of the CMQ dataset, a data augmentation method is proposed incorporating generative adversarial networks and parametric modeling. Numerical experiments and case studies show that the proposed CMQ estimation method is superior to the existing data-driven methods in terms of accuracy and is 500 times faster than typical commercial structural design software. This study is anticipated to benefit the objective evaluation of computer-aided design, thereby facilitating the promotion of low-cost and low-carbon-emission building designs.

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Fei, Y., Liao, W., Lu, X., & Guan, H. (2023). Knowledge-enhanced graph neural networks for construction material quantity estimation of reinforced concrete buildings. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1111/mice.13094

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