Domain-Specific Querying Formalisms for Retrieving Information of HVAC Systems


In order to save energy and improve the control of indoor environments, researchers have developed hundreds of computer algorithms that can automatically and continuously analyze the conditions of Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) systems. However, the complex information requirements of these algorithms inhibit deploying them in real-world facilities. We propose an integrated performance analysis framework that automatically collects, merges and provides the information required by them. In previous studies, we have identified a general set of information requirements for the computerized approaches and formalized a semi-automated approach that integrates multiple data models to support the required information. In order to automatically retrieve the information required by different approaches, the research discussed in this paper explored a query mechanism that can represent the required information in a formal way that can be reasoned about. We categorize the information items that are used to represent the information needs, formalize a domain-specific query language that can formally represent the query statements, and develop a library of mechanisms that can automatically reason about and retrieve the needed information. In order to validate the performance of the query language and mechanisms, we also developed a prototype, which includes a graphic user interface that helps users to define the queries, and the implementation of the reasoning mechanisms that process the queries. The precision and recall of the query language and mechanisms were tested using the queries identified from previous research.

Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering