Requirements for A Formal Approach to Represent Information Exchange Requirements of a Self-managing Framework for HVAC Systems


In order to improve the energy efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, researchers have developed computer algorithms to automatically detect, diagnose and mitigate faults that cause energy waste. However, because the different types of information required by these algorithms are commonly generated by different stakeholders using various formats, it is difficult for the system operators to retrieve the information required to implement these algorithms. In order to overcome this issue, the problem of automatically collecting, integrating and providing the algorithms with the required information that is stored in heterogeneous formats needs to be solved. Only then it might be possible to streamline the applications and utilization of these algorithms and consequently achieve their energy saving potential.

Such an automated information retrieval approach requires a formal way to represent the information exchange requirements that map the needed building-related information and heterogeneous information sources. Because the needed information is stored in different data models, there is no existing approach that is able to represent the information in all data models. The objective of this paper is to analyse the requirements for a formal approach to represent the mappings of needed information from different sources, and compare the characteristics of the existing representation approaches. The discussions include an identification of the data models that are used to store the needed information, a synthesis of the formats and schemas of these data models, an analysis of the existing formal approaches for representing the information exchange requirements, and a comparison of these approaches. By analysing the requirements and comparing the existing approaches, this paper concludes with suggestions to guide the development of a formal approach to represent the information exchange requirements.