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

  • Author / Creator
    Alvanchi, Amin
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2011
  • 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.