A Methodology for the Automated Creation of Construction Simulation Models

  • Author / Creator
    Labban, Ramzi Roy
  • Although much academic research has been performed in the study of construction process simulation, this research has not seen mainstream application in the construction industry. Many factors play a deterrent role in the adoption of simulation by construction end users, mainly the time, cost and skills required to utilize simulation as a viable tool to analyze construction operations. In addition to construction domain expertise, simulation modeling and development skills are required to build a simulation model. The modeling process is the most difficult and time consuming part of the process of building and utilizing a simulation model. The time, effort and technical expertise required to build and experiment with a simulation model balanced against the uniqueness and relatively short life cycle of a construction project is what leads to the slow adoption of simulation by the construction industry. The objective of this research is to make construction simulation more accessible to construction domain expert end users by reducing the modeling effort required for building construction simulation models. It aims at doing so by developing a methodology which will allow construction end users to rapidly build simulation models using information they are familiar with and use as part of their work. The proposed methodology describes the product, process and environment definitions that describe a construction operation with the purpose of constructing a simulation model to mimic it. It also describes the algorithms and programming required to build a discrete event simulation model compiler that would use the provided product, process and environment definitions to compile a DES model of the described operation, run the model, and produce simulation run results. The methodology will help simulation practitioners develop systems composed of data structures which hold model descriptive information and simulation run result sets, and a DES model compiler program which will compile the model and execute it for the user. Three case studies of actual construction project simulators are examined to establish the commonalities in building construction simulation models. The commonalities found are then used to describe the different components of the methodology. The methodology is prototyped in a proof of concept setting and then applied to rebuild one of the case study simulation models using the prototype system. The methodology is then applied to build an enterprise level production version system using the methodology. The production version is then utilized to redevelop the same case study which was rebuilt using the prototype, and to build a simulation model for a new construction operation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • 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
    • Hoover, H. James (Computing Science)
    • Stylios, Chrysostomos D. (Department of Computer Engineering-Technological Educational Institute of Epirus)
    • Qiu, Zhijiun (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Al-Hussein, Mohammed (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Mohammed, Yasser (Civil and Environmental Engineering)