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Incorporating the effects of complex dynamic interactions in the construction decision making process Open Access


Other title
Decision Support
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Alvanchi, Amin
Supervisor and department
AbouRizk, Simaan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Lee, SangHyun (Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan)
Examining committee member and department
Soibelman, Lucio (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University)
El-Rich, Marwan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Stroulia, Eleni (Computing Science)
Robinson Fayek, Aminah (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Construction projects involve complex interactions among operational components such as labour, materials and equipment and context or organizational components such as worker morale and organizational policies. Interactions among different components of construction projects form byzantine chains of cause and effect, and determining their final impact on project behaviour can be beyond human capabilities. Specialized tools that can capture these interactions and provide perspective on the outcomes of construction mangers’ prospective decisions are needed. In this research I proposed and applied a modeling approach that uses a hybrid model of System Dynamics (SD) and Discrete Event Simulation (DES), combining the capabilities of these two powerful modeling tools to foresee a construction project’s ultimate outcome as the result of changes in the different components. The first stage of the research was to recognize different aspects of the hybrid SD-DES modeling approach and to assess the current and potential challenging issues which might affect hybrid model developments in the construction domain. A customized hybrid modeling framework and architecture targeted construction projects and was developed to address the previously described challenges. The hybrid modeling framework is meant to assist hybrid model developers during the design phase; the framework provides and suggests a set of tools that can be used during the implementation phase of hybrid model development. The proposed hybrid model framework and architecture provided the foundation used in the next stage of the research: applying hybrid SD-DES modeling approach to complex construction decision making problems. Two common decision and policy making problems found in construction projects – identifying improved working hour arrangements and human resource policies – were analyzed in this stage, and original hybrid models were developed to assist construction managers in finding the best answers. The models developed for both applications were then validated through real construction projects. In sum, in this research I introduced and validated a new hybrid approach which can be used for improving complex dynamic construction decision making processes by capturing feedbacks between operational level and organizational level effective factors within construction projects.
License granted by Amin Alvanchi ( on 2011-09-23T22:05:09Z (GMT): Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of the above terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis, and except as herein provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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