Technical Term Similarity Model for Natural Language Based Data Retrieval in Civil Infrastructure Projects Conference Paper uri icon


  • Recent advances in data and information technologies have enabled extensive digital datasets to be available to decision makers during the life cycle of a civil infrastructure project. However, much of the data is not yet fully reused due to the challenging and time consuming process of extracting the desired data for a specific purpose. Digital datasets are presented only in computer-readable formats and they are mostly complicated. In order to accurately extract a required subset of data, end users need to have deep understanding of the structure of the data schema, the meaning of each data entity and a query language. Thus, to truly facilitate the reuse of digital project data, a computational platform is needed to allow users to present their data needs in natural language. One of the critical requirements for a computer to perform this task is the ability to understand and interpret users' natural language inputs where keywords are a basic linguistic component. This research aims to collect technical terms commonly used in the civil infrastructure domain and develop a semantic similarity model that can measure the meaning relatedness/similarity between terms. Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and C-value method are used to automatically extract terms from text documents. A machine learning model called Skip-gram model is then employed to learn the semantic relatedness between technical terms using an unlabeled highway corpora as the input data. The input corpus includes 10 million words mainly collected from roadway design guidelines across the U.S. The model is evaluated by comparing the mapping results performed by a computer and a human.

name of conference

  • Proceedings of the 33rd International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC)

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC)

author list (cited authors)

  • Le, T., & Jeong, H. D.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Le, Tuyen||Jeong, H David

publication date

  • January 2016