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A Distributed Simulation Approach for Contractor Company Performance Management in the Construction Industry Open Access


Other title
Construction Contractor Company
Agent Based Modeling
Distributed Simulation
Simphony Simulation System
Discrete Event Simulation
AnyLogic Simulation System
Performance Management
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ekyalimpa, Ronald
Supervisor and department
AbouRizk Simaan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
AbouRizk Simaan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Fayek Aminah (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Cruz-Noguez Carlos (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Mohamed Yasser (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Zayed Tarek (Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University)
Kumar Amit (Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Construction Engineering and Management
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Acquiring and sustaining an edge over competitors in an era that is characterized by more complex and massive projects, scarce resources, more stringent client requirements, and higher expectations from board members is quite challenging for construction companies. It is believed that implementing sound performance management systems is effective in overcoming this challenge. Traditional performance management techniques such as the Balanced Score Card (BSC), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), etc. have been in use, but showed a number of problems. Examples include: they are self centered, data driven, tedious to use and lagging. To overcome the problems with traditional performance management systems, a number of simulation-based systems were created. These also had their shortfalls. For example they did not model the project arrival process and competitive work acquisition process explicitly. They also did not model the work execution process and performance measure generation process in detail. This thesis study set out to advance the state-of-the-art of simulation-based performance management systems. Real world constructs that relate to the business operations of a typical construction company were abstracted and represented using different simulation paradigms. For example, the competitive work acquisition process was modelled using an agent-based approach because of the interaction that exists between autonomous or semi-autonomous and concurrently self-executing constructs. On the other hand, the execution of awarded projects at the companies was emulated using a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) modeling approach. The agent-based model was developed using the AnyLogic simulation system while Simphony and Visual Studio were used for developing the DES model. Subsequently, these two components were configured into High Level Architecture (HLA) federates and integrated to form a distributed simulation system using a distributed simulation framework known as COnstruction SYnthetic Environment (COSYE). A simulation-based performance management application was developed in this study. A number of insights were gained in the course of developing the application. For example, robust design patterns and system architecture were used that could be applied in solving other similar complex problems. Also, a number of approaches were devised for effectively modeling different ill-structured phenomena (such as safety and quality) that exist within the construction domain. Verification and validation work done on the developed application proved that the application was reliable and realistic.
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 these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before 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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