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Structured metadata for representation, query and retrieval of behaviour models of virtual products

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Although the interactive three-dimensional visualization and intuitive interface offered by virtual reality (VR) technology are useful at various product development stages, the expensive and time-consuming process required to construct a VR model often hinders the widespread adoption of VR in industry. Fast and low-cost VR model construction is a critical factor for broader acceptance of VR technology in industry. Since many industrial products, e.g. products belonging to the same product family, have similar behaviours, it is reasonable to store the behaviour models of products and reuse them later. Behaviour query and retrieval, however, are not easy because of their complex composing data elements. This paper proposes a metadata-based approach for behaviour representation, query and retrieval. The metadata are designed by identifying the important objects in constructing a VRML-compliant behaviour model and designing representative metadata for these objects. The resulted metadata table captures three types of information: the operation units; the animation and interaction functions applied to the operation units; and the execution logics and sequences of these functions. The metadata table also provides a simple interface for VR programmer to define a query specification. Behaviour model retrieval is done by matching the query table against the metadata tables of existed behaviour models. The proposed metadata-based approach could be integrated with existing VR authoring systems to facilitate fast construction of virtual products.
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Keywords: Behaviour model; Metadata; Virtual products; Virtual reality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Yuan-Ze University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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