43. Product Development Diagram
30. Asset Hierarchy (updated)

44. Information Cycle

Updated Dec 6, 2020 | The Information Cycle Model (previously Information Management Cycle model) employs the three Project Lifecycle Phases – Design, Construction, and Operation (Succar, 2009) [1]– to identify Information Actors and their high-level Information Actions connecting several Information Milestones within the Lifecycle Information Transformation and Exchange (LITE) framework (Succar and Poirier, 2020) [2].

Information-Cycle-v0.7Information Cycle Model | v0.7 at OScale 8, GLevel 2 | Full Size

This high-level conceptual model – covering OScale 8 [3], shown at GLevel 2 [4] - describes the Information Cycles that Structured Information pass through. Each Cycle has a nominal start (e.g. information covering the design of a new Physical Asset) and a nominal end (e.g. information decimated through the demolition of an asset). If the same Physical Asset is iteratively renovated or reused, the information persists over many Cycles.

The Cycle connects four Information Milestones derived from the LITE framework and forming a rotating triangle (3 vertices). The first vertex [i] represents both Expected Physical Assets and Targeted Digital Deliverables (Information Milestones 3 and 4). The second vertex [ii] represents Actual Digital Deliverables (Milestone 6), and the third vertex [iii] represents the Actual Physical Assets (Milestone 7). These three vertices are connected by Information Actions conducted by Information Actors.

Information Actions

As discussed in the LITE framework, Information Actions may either be Forward Execution Actions, connecting one Information Milestone to the next one in the Information Cycle, or Reverse Measurement Actions, needed to verify the accuracy, validity, and quality of an Information Milestone against a previous one. In the model, three primary forward actions are shown - Prepare, Manage, and Use:

  • The Prepare action refers to all activities to collate, harmonise, and otherwise prepare information for management during each project lifecycle phase. Here, preparation refers to both “Anamnesis, dedicated to the survey and collection of facts about the building; and Diagnosis, dedicated to the analysis and interpretation of the collected facts to obtain the necessary understanding of the building and its performance” (Scherer & Katranuschkov, 2018, p. 55) [5];
  • The Manage action refers to all activities to generate, exchange, and otherwise manage information – whether operational, tactical, or strategic (Hosseini, Roelvink, Papadonikolaki, Edwards, & Pärn, 2018) [6]- during each project lifecycle phase; and
  • The Use action refers to all activities that benefit from managed information during each project lifecycle phase – for example: the operation, maintaining, replacing, refurbishing, renewing, upgrading, and re-purposing of Physical Assets (TfNSW, 2015) [7] during the Operation Phase.


Information Actors

This conceptual model and the overall LITE framework does not differentiate between human and machine Actors, nor between discipline and information Actors (i.e. between a design professional and the design information manager) as the separation between these Actors– due to automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – is progressively blurring. That is, Actors can be humans, machines (computers/robots), and their hybrids (augmented humans or humanoids/cyborgs) who are (i) acting on existing information to generate new information, (ii) transforming inputs into outputs, and (iii) delivering products and/or services. A Single Actor may be acting alone throughout the whole project/asset lifecycle (e.g. a human Actor designing, constructing, and living in their own forest cabin, or an AI-enabled machine designing, delivering, and utilising a complex mineral-extraction facility on Mars). Multiple Actors may also be acting in sync/sequence at different phases of an asset’s lifecycle to design, deliver, and utilise an asset.

The model identifies three nominal Actors operating throughout the Information Cycle:

  • Design Information Actors: executing the transition from [i] Target Deliverables (Expected Physical Deliverables & Targeted Digital Deliverables) to [ii] Actual Digital Assets and measuring (e.g. verifying or validating) how well Actual Digital Assets match with their respective Targeted Digital Deliverables;
  • Construction Information Actors: executing the transition from [ii] Actual Digital Assets to [iii] Actual Physical Assets and measuring (e.g. testing or confirming) how well Actual Physical Assets match with Actual Digital Assets; and
  • Operation Information Actors: executing actions applied to [iii] Actual Physical Assets (e.g. operating, maintaining, and decommissioning). These actors can either (a) measure - e.g. capture or monitor - how well an Actual Physical Asset matches with the Expected Physical Deliverables within the same Information Cycle, or (b) measure one or more Actual Physical Assets to identify new [i] Target Deliverables within a new Information Cycle.

Actors may overlap and replace one another. Depending on Asset Scale [8] and the diffusion of technologies, processes, and policies within a market (Succar & Kassem, 2015) [9], two or even a single Information Actor may be able to conduct all execution and measurement actions across an Information Cycle.


Versions and acknowledgements

This post includes an updated visual knowledge model (v0.7) and updated explanatory text to align with the now published LITE framework (Succar and Poirier, 2020). The original version 0.3 – Information Management Cycle model - was published through this blog on July 25, 2017 and can still be accessed as an image file from here (v0.3 was reviewed by Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, Dr. Julie Jupp, Dr. Marzia Bolpagni, and Mr. Victor Roig Segura). An updated version 0.5 was later published in Jan 21, 2018 and included important modifications – image file can be accessed from here. For a more detailed review, the updated post including the v0.5 model is available for download as a pdf file from here (148KB).



[1] Succar, B. (2009). Building information modelling framework: A research and delivery foundation for industry stakeholders. Automation in Construction, 18(3), 357-375. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2008.10.003

[2] Succar, B., & Poirier, E. (2020). Lifecycle information transformation and exchange for delivering and managing digital and physical assets. Automation in Construction, 112, 103090. http://bit.ly/PaperA11

[3] There are 12 Organisational Scales – refer to Post 11 https://www.bimframework.info/2013/12/organizational-hierarchy.html

[4] Granularity Levels clarify the extent of informational detail within a conceptual model, matrix, tool, or document. There are five Granularity Levels (GLevels) progressing from lowest to highest: https://BIMdictionary.com/en/granularity-level/1

[5] Scherer, R. J., & Katranuschkov, P. (2018). BIMification: How to create and use BIM for retrofitting. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 38, 54-66. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aei.2018.05.007

[6] Hosseini, M. R., Roelvink, R., Papadonikolaki, E., Edwards, D., & Pärn, E. (2018). Integrating BIM into facility management: typology matrix of information handover requirements (Vol. 36)

[7] TfNSW. (2015). Systems Engineering, Transport for NSW, New South Wales Government (T MU AM 06006 GU). Retrieved from https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/system/files/media/asa_standards/2017/t-mu-am-06006-st-v2.0.pdf

[8] Asset Hierarchy and Asset Scale are covered in Post 30 - https://bimframework.info/2019/08/asset-hierarchy.html  

[9] Succar, B., & Kassem, M. (2015). Macro-BIM adoption: Conceptual structures. Automation in Construction, 57, 64-79. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2015.04.018