Four-Dimensional (4D) Millimeter Wave-Based Sensing and Its Potential Applications in Digital Construction: A Review

Shuai Han, Jiawen Zhang, Zeeshan Shahid Shaikh, Jia Wang, Wei Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Digital construction relies on effective sensing to enhance the safety, productivity, and quality of its activities. However, current sensing devices (e.g., camera, LiDAR, infrared sensors) have significant limitations in different aspects. In light of the substantial advantages offered by emerging 4D mmw technology, it is believed that this technology can overcome these limitations and serve as an excellent complement to current construction sensing methods due to its robust imaging capabilities, spatial sensing abilities, velocity measurement accuracy, penetrability features, and weather resistance properties. To support this argument, a scientometric review of 4D mmw-based sensing is conducted in this study. A total of 213 articles published after the initial invention of 4D mmw technology in 2019 were retrieved from the Scopus database, and six kinds of metadata were extracted from them, including the title, abstract, keywords, author(s), publisher, and year. Since some papers lack keywords, the GPT-4 model was used to extract them from the titles and abstracts of these publications. The preprocessed metadata were then integrated using Python and fed into the Citespace 6.2.R3 for further statistical, clustering, and co-occurrence analyses. The result revealed that the primary applications of 4D mmw are autonomous driving, human activity recognition, and robotics. Subsequently, the potential applications of this technology in the construction industry are explored, including construction site monitoring, environment understanding, and worker health monitoring. Finally, the challenges of adopting this emerging technology in the construction industry are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1454
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • 4D mmw
  • digital construction
  • GPT-4
  • scientometric analysis
  • sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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