Expecting the unexpected: Representing, reasoning about, and assessing construction project contingencies

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science; Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Planning, scheduling and effective management of contingencies are crucial for the successful management of construction projects. In this paper we explore a mathematical representation of construction processes that can be used to infer alternative futures of a project as it unfolds. The representation has its foundations in temporal constraint networks. We present algorithms that can traverse the network in time, reason about the constraints driving a construction project, and present the combinatorial possibilities of futures that can emerge from one or more constraint violations during project implementation. The algorithms will aid construction managers to anticipate and react to crisis scenarios as they evolve in time. Our broader goal is to use the contingency information and the user responses to reveal the cognitive strategies used by humans to manage complex crisis scenarios.

Publisher's Statement

© 2007 IEEE. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1109/WSC.2007.4419835

Publication Title

Proceedings - Winter Simulation Conference