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Thread: Bi-Directional Associativity

  1. #1
    I could stop if I wanted to Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Bi-Directional Associativity

    Someone recently added some text to the Revit Wikipedia article stating that "The concept of bi-directional associativity between components, views, and annotations remains a unique and distinguishing feature of Revit". They provided as a source the 2004 AUGI post What Does Full Bi-Directional Associativity Mean?

    I'm thinking that's pretty old and probably bi-directional associativity is not unique to Revit. Can anyone enlighten me? How good are ArchiCAD, Tekla, Microstation, AllPlan and so on at bi-directional associativity?
    Duncan Lithgow
    Revit implementation in large hospital projects
    From New Zealand, in Denmark

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    Revit BIM Consultant Alfredo Medina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Disclaimer: I can comment about Revit, and I cannot comment about the other programs that you have mentioned because I don't use them. So, this comment is about Revit, only.

    What I know from my research on the history of Revit, is that Revit was the first program in offering full bi-directionality for architecture, while other applications for architecture were still offering partial bi-directionality. Revit inherited the idea (not the code) from the previous job of its founders at PTC, where they worked on Pro-Engineer, which was a parametric program for mechanical design, that could create objects with parameters, provide all the 3d views, and create a bill of materials, all fully coordinated. The founders thought that they could do the same for architecture because there was not such a thing for architecture yet (year 1997), when Leonid Raiz founded Charles River Software, later known as Revit Technology Corporation.

    At the time of the first release, (year 2000) at Autodesk, the program for architecture was "Architectural Desktop" (later known as AutoCAD Architecture) which was offering a partial bi-directionality, meaning that schedules were coordinated with the elements, but the plan and the elevations were still not fully connected in a bi-directional mode. The elevations and sections were 2d projections, somewhat "dependent" from the model and plan view, and they needed a "refresh" or "update" to get the latest info. In simple words, elevations and sections were not "live" views where you could continue editing the model easily. That was the big difference that Revit introduced, full bi-directionality, which allowed users to edit and update the view from any model view at any time: changes in a model view update all the model views, changes from a model view update the schedules, and changes from the schedule update the model views. This full bi-directionality for architecture was a contribution of Revit, as far as I understand. The article in Wikipedia may not be correct at this moment (year 2013) saying that bi-directionality is a "unique and distinguishing feature of Revit". Distinguishing, yes, unique, I don't think so.
    Last edited by Alfredo Medina; 2013-03-01 at 12:31 AM. Reason: format

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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Well, when i raise a floor level in revit, some stairs tend to stay where they were before and do not update... I am not sure about the "full bi-directional". But then again, it's just semantics, and stairs are not the easiest component on a building.

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    Revit BIM Consultant Alfredo Medina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    If the base level of the stair is the level, if the level moves, the stairs should change, but raising a level in a project that has lots of stuff on it requires checking lots of contraints between the objects. So, depending on those factors, some things might not work as expected, but in general a stair updates if its base level changes.

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    I could stop if I wanted to Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Thanks Alfredo. I'll request a newer reference.
    Duncan Lithgow
    Revit implementation in large hospital projects
    From New Zealand, in Denmark

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    Revit Forum Manager Steve_Stafford's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Stairs will flex when levels change until the sketch and rules associated with the stair type can't be met. In other words if the risers that are described in the sketch can no longer reach an upper level without adding a riser then the stair stops flexing and an error message will usually appear.

    The original post referred to was written by Leonid, one of two Revit founders, so it isn't too surprising that Revit lives up to the itemized list of relationships that define the notion of bi-directional associativity. I don't think any other software meets all the criteria yet though some don't because they don't agree with some of them. What "we" see as necessary or beneficial others regard as too controlling.

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    Revit Founder LRaiz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Rather than focusing on bugs or limitations of a particular type of Revit elements I'd like to revert back to the original topic of this thread. I refer back to the definition of bi-directional associativity given in "What Does Full Bi Directional Associativity Mean" and repeat the question posed by Duncan Lithgow. Conceptually, does the ability to propagate changes in both directions between all three types of elements (building components, views, and annotations) remain a feature that is unique to Revit even after all the years that has passed since Revit introduction?

    Admittedly, I am no longer actively involved in the field of computer aided design. But I am curious to hear if others know of another system that has managed to implement comprehensive change propagation and go significantly beyond updating other views when model is changed in one view. For example, is there a system that allows to move a wall by typing a new value of dimension to a different wall while automatically adjusting neighboring walls, floors and ceilings? Other examples of required change propagation power are given in the original referenced post. Unless others are able to demonstrate this kind of change propagation Revit remains unique in its implementation of bi-directional associativity.

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    I could stop if I wanted to Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    I thought a good place to follow up on this was outside AUGIs walls - there's a thread getting some attention on LinkedIn Is Revit the only BIM software with Bi-Directional Associativity?:
    Duncan Lithgow
    Revit implementation in large hospital projects
    From New Zealand, in Denmark

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    Revit BIM Consultant Alfredo Medina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Quote Originally Posted by Duncan Lithgow View Post
    I thought a good place to follow up on this was outside AUGIs walls - there's a thread getting some attention on LinkedIn Is Revit the only BIM software with Bi-Directional Associativity?:
    Duncan, why go outside of AUGI for this discussion when you have the founder of Revit participating in this thread? See post above from Mr. Leonid Raiz.

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    I could stop if I wanted to Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bi-Directional Associativity

    Because this thread is precisely about software other than Revit.

    I do know who Leonid is (thanks for joining us by the way)
    Duncan Lithgow
    Revit implementation in large hospital projects
    From New Zealand, in Denmark

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