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Linear Assets (5) – Relationships

This article explores Relationships needed for linear assets and how they are used in the Relationships tab of the Assets application.

Relationships Application

Relationships Tab

The Relationships application allows you to define a custom name to describe a relationship between assets or configuration items (CIs). The Use With field has the two options ASSET or CI. When the Use With is set to ASSET, then the Allow Override and Is Reference Point checkboxes are displayed.

For linear assets there are only a few fields that are relevant:

• Relationship and its description – provide a useful relationship name to describe the relationship between assets. For example, INTERSECTS, BECOMES, PARALLEL, SPLITS FROM, CARRIES
• Type – BIDIRECTIONAL or UNIDIRECTIONAL. A Parent-Child relationship would be UNIDIRECTIONAL, BIDIRECTIONAL is used if the same relationship name can be read both ways, see below.
• Classification – A classification with Use With Object of RELATION. It has no function except to classify the type of relationship.
• Use With should be set to ASSET.
• Allow Override – Used to allow an Asset Relationship Rule to be overridden when a relationship is used on an asset. This will nearly always be set to 0.
• Is Reference Point – When the relationship is used on a linear asset it will create a feature marked as a reference point so that the reference point can be used to locate other assets or work.

BIDIRECTIONAL or UNIDIRECTIONAL

In any relationship between two assets there is a source and a target. PARALLEL is a BIDIRECTIONAL relationship where the source runs parallel with the target and the target runs parallel with the source. The relationship term can help define whether it is bidirectional or unidirectional. INTERSECTS and CONNECTS are the type of term that infer a bidirectional relationship, for example, A CONNECTS B, infers B CONNECTS A.

A unidirectional relationship uses a term that infers one direction although there may be a complementary term that infers one direction but in the opposite direction. A IS-PARENT-OF B strongly infers a unidirectional relationship IS-PARENT-OF that might be complemented by B IS-CHILD-OF A, a complementary unidirectional relationship IS-CHILD-OF.

• INCLUDES is unidirectional and might be used for a gantry that includes a set of assets.
• CARRIES is unidirectional, a bridge carries a road.
• SUPPLIES is unidirectional, a control cabinet supplies the electronic visual displays
• SUPPORTS is unidirectional, a cantilever bridge supports a road sign. This might have a complementary unidirectional relationship of SUPPORTED-BY, i.e., a road sign is supported by a cantilever bridge.

The Relationship attribute RELATIONNUM is defined as UPPER (12).

Complementary Relationship

Maximo does have a hidden field Complementary Relationship (COMPRELATION) which allows two unidirectional relationships to be used together. To determine whether a complementary relationship is worth creating consider how often you would use the complementary relationship to help understand the relationship. For nearly all unidirectional terms a complementary term can be found. My preference would be to create pairs of complementary relationships, so that they get used together, it may help to distinguish between two or more relationships that could be used in any given situation, the complementary relationship may help to decide which one to use over the others.

To use the Complementary Relationship field, in the Advanced Tab for the Text Box in Application Designer remove the USEWITHASSETCI Signature Option for the field. The Signature Option doesn’t exist, therefore removing it displays the field. The Complementary Relationship has a Select Value to show other UNIDIRECTIONAL relationships. In the example, I have made BACKED UP BY as a Complementary Relationship to BACKSUP.

When you create a Complementary Relationship Maximo creates the complementary relationship in the other direction. For example, after save if you loaded BACKED UP BY relationship you would find the BACKSUP is its Complementary Relationship.

Attribute LINEAR

Another hidden field is the Linear checkbox, which defaults to unchecked. If this is unchecked it doesn’t stop a relationship from being created on a linear asset, but you might configure a table domain to do so. This would allow different relationships to be used for linear and non-linear purposes.

If you try to uncheck the linear attribute and the relationship has been used then you will receive the error message “This relationship is used to relate two assets, so it cannot be non-linear. (BMXAA6162)”.

Asset Relationship Rules

As you define a relationship between assets you can build validation rules for which types of assets can be related to another type of asset. For example, when the INTERSECT relationship is used on a linear asset of classification ROAD, the source of the relationship, then the classification of the target asset must also be ROAD.

The validation rule can also be extended down to attribute level. For example, when the HIGHSPEEDCTR (High Speed Control) relationship is used on an asset of classification ROAD with an attribute SPEED >= 50 mph then it can be used with an Asset with a classification of SPEEDCAMERA with AVSPEEDCHECK = 1. Average speed check cameras are only used on roads with a higher speed limit.

Asset Relationship Rules can be grouped together and then multiple validations (sub-rules) within a group must either all be successful (AND) or only one validation rule need be successful (OR) for the group validation as a whole to be successful. The AND/OR between sub-rules is defined in the Within Group field.

If there are multiple groups of Asset Relationship Rules then only one group need validate successfully, there is a logical OR between groups of rules.

This is defining the relationship between two assets, which may be point and/or linear assets. It is not defining a relationship rule between a linear asset and a feature. For an Asset Relationship Rule to be effective the source asset and target asset must both have a classification. If there are no Asset Relationship Rules, then any relationship of type ASSET can be used between any two assets.

To determine whether an asset relationship rule is producing a validation, you need to start with something that does not make sense, for the validation to produce an error message.

When you use New Row button Maximo creates a Group and Line, both 100, and the Within Group is set to AND. Using the New Row again would create a new line 200 within the same Group 100. To create a second Group, 200, use the button to the right of the Group field in the table window. The button to the right of the Line field in the table window creates a new line within the group where the button was pressed. This is not the same as the New Row button because this only creates a new line for the last group. After you have initially used the New Row button, I wouldn’t use it again for the same relationship record as you will have better control using the two inline buttons in the Group and Line fields.

In the example, the Source and Target Classifications allow you to select a classification with Use With Object of ASSET. The Source and Target Attribute fields have a Select Value of all attributes, and not the attributes of the selected classification. POLETYPE attribute will not be found in the ROAD classification.

The Source and Target Condition fields have the eight textual qualifiers, EQUALS, NOTEQUALS, GREATER, LESS, GREATEROREQUAL, LESSOREQUAL, LIKE, and NOTLIKE. There is a value field to evaluate against the source attribute and another for the target attribute.

When creating an Asset Relationship Rule without a Source Classification you would receive the error message “BMXAA4195E – A value is required for the Source Classification field on the RELATIONRULESEXT object.”. Similarly, if the Target Classification was left empty it would be “BMXAA4195E – A value is required for the Target Classification field on the RELATIONRULESEXT object.”.

If you go to delete an Asset Relationship Rule where there is a Within Group value, then you will receive the information message “BMXAA8047I – The rule you are about to delete has child rule items. If you continue you will delete the entire rule group and its child rule items.”. To delete rule lines then start by deleting the rule line with no Within Group value.

You may get some of the following messages when trying to create a new relationship in the Assets application:

• If selecting a target asset that does not have the target classification, you would receive the error message “BMXAA8016E – The rule validation for the relationship failed. Rule conditions must be met for the relationship to be established.”
• If selecting a target asset that has a classification, but it fails the validation, you would receive the error message “BMXAA8014W – The rule validation failed. You must ensure that the source classification 1296 and the target classification 1296 match the source and target classification of the asset.”
• When selecting a target asset, a check is also made on the source attributes in the Asset Relationship Rule, if the validation fails then you would receive the error message “BMXAA8020E – The rule validation failed. The attribute condition 200 100 SPEED did not pass the validation.”. The 200 100 in the error message is the Asset Relationship Rule line being validated, the 200 is the Group and the 100 is the Line Item in the Group. The attribute SPEED will hopefully show which part of the Asset Relationship Rule failed the validation unless the attribute was being tested in both the source and the target.

There may be other error or warning messages when creating a relationship in the Assets application.

When you are validating a rule against an attribute on a linear asset, that attribute may exist multiple times for different linear segments. There is no validation that I could find against a particular linear segment or point on the linear asset. For example, I created an Asset Relationship Rule on the ROAD classification and SPEED attribute with EQUALS 65 (mph) and placed a Start/End Measure at MP 80, 80.00 miles from the start of I-95N. The validation rule did not fail with an error message although the SPEED attribute of 65 mph was only between 0-50 miles.

If you changed the value of the SPEED attribute for the 0-50 mile linear segment from 65 to 35 mph, there is no validation of the existing relationships. The validation checks seem to occur when both the source asset and target asset have a value and you are leaving one of those fields having made a change.

Allow Override

The Allow Override check box is used in conjunction with the Asset Relationship Rules. If it is checked, then instead of receiving one of the error messages you will receive a warning “BMXAA8021W – The relationship rule validations failed. Do you want to override the validation rules for this relationship and allow the relationship to be created?” with Yes/No buttons. Answering Yes will allow the relationship to be created, answering No and you will see what validation rule is stopping the relationship from being established.

Assets Application – Relationships Tab

The Relationships tab is used to:

• Connect one linear asset to another linear asset, example I-95N Intersects MD 212
• Connect point assets or locations to linear assets

The relationship names used are defined in the Relationships application, for example INTERSECTS, BECOMES and SPLITS FROM, etc. An asset relationship has a source asset/location and a target asset/location.

Connect a linear asset to another linear asset

For linear asset I-95N, if you go to the Relationships tab it will show the related assets and locations where I-95N is the Source Asset or the Target Asset. The Filter By is indicating View All, 8 asset relationship records are being displayed.

If you changed the Filter By to Source and used the Refresh button, then you will only see the asset relationship records where I-95N is the Source Asset, 7 records would be displayed.

If you changed the Filter By to Target and used the Refresh button, then you will only see the asset relationship records where I-95N is the Target Asset, 1 record would be displayed.

From the screenshot you can see that at the bottom of the screen is the linear visual control.

We have opened the details button of the relationship between I-95N, the Source Asset and MD 198 the Target Asset, both I-95N and MD 198 are linear assets. The relationship type is INTERSECTS. I-95N intersects MD 198 and vice versa, the INTERSECTS relationship type is BIDRIECTIONAL.

The bottom relationship is with I-95S, the southbound lanes of the interstate highway. It runs in parallel with I-95N and starts at measure 0 and ends at measure 109.70 miles. It has a relationship type of PARALLEL.

The right-click detail menu of the Source Asset or Target Asset gives you the action Move to This Asset. This gives you the ability to navigate between assets, it makes the Source Asset or Target Asset the current asset record in the Assets application. The detail menu also allows you to Report Downtime, Create Service Request, Create Work Order, View Relationship History, and several other options.

If we scroll down on the same asset relationship, then linear asset MD 198 intersects with linear asset I-95N 32.70 miles from its start (Source Start) and 6.10 miles from the start of the linear asset MD 198 (Target Start). This is where the Y reference points cross, at the MIDLINE of each road.

Connect point assets or locations to linear assets

In the Relationships tab for asset I-95N I’ve used New Row and found Target Asset 1258 – Signal Control Cabinet. This is a roadside cabinet for controlling the LCD displays on a nearby overhead gantry. In this case I am positioning the cabinet in relation to a Reference Point MP 30, the cabinet is 672.00 feet from the reference point. This is known as a relative measure, a measure from a reference point which has a known absolute measure along the linear asset. Maximo calculates the absolute measure for the target asset 1258 at 30.13 miles, this is a rounded-up value from 30.127 miles (30+(672/5280)).

A Y Offset is added from the MIDLINE Y Reference Point of -42.00 feet, to the left of the MIDLINE. Linear asset measures need both a Source Start and Source End. This is a point asset, and you would normally position to the center of the cabinet. You might be a bit surprised to see that you need to enter the same details for the Source End, if Maximo knows the Target Asset is not a linear asset, then the details of Source Start and Source End will be the same. This does give you the ability to measure to the front left of the cabinet and place the Source End at the front right of the cabinet, if that is your preference to how you measure roadside equipment.

Note, that selecting a Target Asset will make the Target Location field read-only. Only one of these fields can have a value. The selection of either Target Asset or Target Location can only be from the same Site as the current asset record, the linear asset I-95N is in the BEDFORD site. You cannot create a relationship which goes across sites. Sites are for data separation purposes. If you take the analogy of sites being like islands, then there are no bridges or tunnels connecting these islands.

Target Asset 1258 was at NOT READY status. You would not be able to select a target asset at status of DECOMISSIONED.

The linear visual control shows the Target Asset 1258 against the CONNECTS relationship. The Source Asset I-95N is used to derive the Source Start Measure of 30.13 miles, with the same value for the Source End Measure.

I’ve created a location called I-95-COMP2 – I-95 Highways Compound No.2, which you get to from the slipway to MD 202 at 16.50 miles. I’ve used the Relationship CONNECTS and used the Target Location field instead of the Target Asset field.

I’ve entered the absolute measure of the location from the Source Start at 16.50 miles with a Y offset of -400.00 feet from the MIDLINE Y Reference Point. For a point location you would also enter Source End measures the same as for the Source Start measures. If you forgot to do this, you would receive an error message “BMXAA6307E – Linear asset relationships must have a sourcestart and sourceend measure. Please provide sourcestart and sourceend measures between 0.00 and 109.70.”.

You cannot move to a Source or Target Location as you can with Source or Target Assets, but you can navigate to the Locations application.

The Target Location I-95-COMP2 is shown in the linear visual control at 16.50 miles from the Source Asset I-95N.

If the current asset is a linear asset, I-95N, then you are creating a relationship to a target, a linear or point asset, or a location.

The current asset may be a point asset and you may be creating a relationship to a linear asset. In this case you use the Target Start and Target End set of fields to define where along the linear asset (target) the current asset is connected.

The asset relationships are stored in the object ASSETLOCRELATION:

• If the source asset is a linear asset use the Source Start/End Measures
• If the target asset is a linear asset use the Target Start/End Measures
• If the source and target assets are both linear assets, then use both the Source and Target Start/End Measures.

When using the New Row button:

• The current linear asset must be referenced as either the Source Asset or Target Asset otherwise you will receive the error message “BMXAA6134E – Relationship’s Source Asset or the Target Asset must be the current linear asset I-95N.”
• You can reference a source location but then the current linear asset will be the Target Asset and you enter the measures on the Target Start and Target End.
• If you select a Target Asset and save, then this asset can be subsequently used as a Source Asset.

View Asset Relationship History

The View Asset Relationship History action allows you to see a history of the asset relationships for a segment of a linear asset at a particular point in time. In the header of the dialog, to see the changes in a linear segment you use the View Segment From and To fields, tabbing out of these fields will apply the filter.

To see the state of asset relationships at a particular point in time in the past, you would change the ‘As of’ date field in the header.

There are two table windows one showing the Target Assets where the current asset is the source asset. The other shows the Source Assets where the current asset is the target asset.

Using a Relationship as a Reference Point

When one linear asset intersects with another linear asset, for example one road intersects with another, then this intersection could be used as a reference point for other features or assets.

The asset relationship between I-95N the Source Asset and MD 202 the Target Asset has been marked as Use As Reference.

This will create a new asset feature with the name of the relationship INTERSECTS and a description of “Created automatically (read more)”. The asset feature exists at the same measurement as the linear asset that intersects with it, in this case at 16.60 miles. The label automatically created is useful “I-95N INTERSECTS MD 202”

If you open the details for this record and look at the long description, you’ll find the text:

• This relationship was created automatically by Maximo.  A relationship can be identified as a reference point.  When that relationship is applied to a linear asset, a feature is created automatically.  This feature can then be used as a reference point on work orders, much in the same way that mile posts are used.
• The use case for this is cities, where they don’t have mile posts.  They typically use distance from an intersection to determine work location.

I do not know of a way of being able to modify the description when the feature is created or to not create a long description.

The other thing you may notice in the details area is that the checkbox “Created By Relationship” is now checked. This field can be unchecked, but you will receive the message “INTERSECTS was created from asset relationship that is marked as reference point. If you modify the created by relationship, then there is no link between the asset feature and asset relationship. Do you want to continue? (BMXAA7461)”. You will have the options of OK and Cancel.

In the Linear Visual Control under Features, you will find the INTERSECTS, these are of type POINT. The hover over balloon message will show the Start Measure and End Measure.

I am adding a new asset feature GANTRY-SIGN with a label of “Road sign for MD 202”. The asset features description has been generated from the classification and specification values copied from the Feature record.

This time instead of using absolute measures I am using the newly created Reference Point “I-95N INTERSECTS MD 202” and a Reference Point Offset of -5,280.00 FEET, this is one mile before the intersection. Note, the use of a negative value to indicate a measure before the reference point, positive numbers are after the reference point.

The Linear Visual Control shows the GANTRY-SIGN features with the “Road sign for MD 202” feature positioned at 15.60 miles, one mile before the intersect at 16.60 miles.

Share with Related Assets

On Linear Asset I-95N I’ve added a new asset feature GANTRY-LCD with label LCD Gantry after MP 30. I’ve used MP 30 Reference Point to position the asset feature with an offset of 4,200 FEET which positions it 30.80 MILES from the start of I-95N. The Start and End Measures are the same for this Point feature.

I’ve marked the Share With Related Assets checkbox.

If you look at linear asset I-95S which runs parallel with I-95N the POINT feature is also visible and two attributes are checked and are read-only.

• On Related Asset is checked because the feature exists on another asset (I-95N)
• Share With Related Assets is checked because the feature is being shared between multiple linear assets that exist at 30.80 miles. In this case the feature is shared between linear assets I-95S and I-95N, it is read-only to indicate that I-95S does not control this feature.