Machine and deep learning implementations for heritage building information modelling : a critical review of theoretical and applied research

Gil, Aleksander and Arayici, Yusuf and Kumar, Bimal and Laing, Richard (2024) Machine and deep learning implementations for heritage building information modelling : a critical review of theoretical and applied research. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage (JOCCH), 17 (3). 36. ISSN 1556-4673 (

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Research domain and Problem: HBIM modelling from point cloud data has become a crucial research topic in the last decade since it is potentially considered as the central data model paving the way for the digital heritage practice beyond digitization. Reality Capture technologies such as terrestrial laser scanning, drone-mounted LiDAR sensors and photogrammetry enable the reality capture with a sub-millimetre accurate point cloud file that can be used as a reference file for Heritage Building Information Modelling (HBIM). However, HBIM modelling from the point cloud data of heritage buildings is mainly manual, error-prone, and time-consuming. Furthermore, image processing techniques are insufficient for classification and segmentation of point cloud data to speed up and enhance the current workflow for HBIM modelling. Due to the challenges and bottlenecks in the scan-to-HBIM process, which is commonly criticized as complex with its bespoke requirements, semantic segmentation of point clouds is gaining popularity in the literature. Research Aim and Methodology: Therefore, this paper aims to provide a thorough critical review of Machine Learning and Deep Learning methods for point cloud segmentation, classification, and BIM geometry automation for cultural heritage case study applications. Research findings: This paper files the challenges of HBIM practice and the opportunities for semantic point cloud segmentation found across academic literature in the last decade. Beyond definitions and basic occurrence statistics, this paper discusses the success rates and implementation challenges of machine and deep learning classification methods. Research value and contribution: This paper provides a holistic review of point cloud segmentation and its potential for further development and application in the Cultural Heritage sector. The critical analysis provides insight into the current state-of-the-art methods and advises on their suitability for HBIM projects. The review has identified highly original threads of research, which hold the potential to significantly influence practice and further applied research.