Keywords: Building automation, semantic description, building large domain ontologies
TL;DR: Description of building automation needs not just description of controls but also equipment and processes - how do we accomplish this and what does this bring us?
Abstract: Building automation systems orchestrate and monitor the functioning of a wide variety of utilities in a building so that living spaces are kept comfortable, safe, and secure. The complexity of such a system which involves multiple disciplines (heating, air-conditioning, lighting, fire safety, security etc.), coming from multiple vendors, is compounded by the fact that each building differs in the way the equipment operate and coordinate. Current efforts in creating a semantic model of the system has been divided between describing the control system and describing the equipment in the building. And moreover, it is not viable to create such descriptions manually. Based on some key use cases, we argue that a holistic description needs to involve the concepts of automation, equipment, and the physical process in an integral manner. We also argue that the benefit is best derived when these concepts weave themselves in to the engineering workflow and thereby enable bottom-up extraction and expression of knowledge. We also share our experience in creating ontologies to model this vast domain and how we used these to create a semantic data-driven fault detection agent.