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

  • Author / Creator
    Ekyalimpa, Ronald
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Construction Engineering and Management
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Mohamed Yasser (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Fayek Aminah (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Zayed Tarek (Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University)
    • Kumar Amit (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Cruz-Noguez Carlos (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • AbouRizk Simaan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)