Discovering new concepts for enhancing the Designing Buildings Wiki

The Designing Buildings Wiki ( is an online Wiki publicly accessible by the general public and maintained by Designing Buildings Ltd.
It contains over 7500 articles and concepts related to building construction, civil and structural engineering, architecture, policies, legislation and much more.
By leveraging state-of-the-art Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) techniques, the CityLABS technical support team developed a tool that is able to process the full text of the entire Wiki and discover concepts related to Designing Buildings Wiki domain that are actually unrepresented as first-class citizens on the website.
The tool provides the Wiki editors with an exhaustive list of concepts that, after being semi-automatically inspected, is used to drive a targeted and more efficient content creation, and therefore, to ultimately improve user experience and content fruition.

From the Design Buildings Ltd Blog:

The first time the software was run it identified 250,000 unexplained concepts. Since then it has been taught to ignore certain words or phrases, so that it focusses only on industry-specific concepts. It has also been developed so that particular subject areas, or text from third parties can be analysed. This is particularly useful for helping our partners target new content creation.

The software can also analyse lists of keywords and identify phrases that are commonly associated with those keywords. This can help broaden out subjects and find connections with other areas of construction knowledge.

Designing Buildings Wiki Director, Dr Gregor Harvie said:

“The use of artificial intelligence is allowing us to streamline our activities, focussing resources on the subjects our users most want to know about. It has also revealed some gaping holes in our knowledge base. The first time we ran the software we discovered we had not explained what a building is, or what designing is – both of these words appear in our own name.”

“It is particularly useful in helping specialists explain complex areas of the industry to non-specialists. It can be difficult to put yourself into the mind of someone that does not know what you know. This software allows you to see subjects with a fresh mind, identifying things that have not been explained. Sometimes these are technical terms, but more often they are concepts that are so obvious they have been overlooked.”

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow us on Twitter