Traversing and querying constraint driven temporal networks to estimate construction contingencies

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


Effective estimation of possible project futures is crucial to the success of construction projects. The focus of this paper is identifying and classifying possible construction crisis scenarios using an interactive simulation. We present a mathematical representation of construction processes, with foundations in temporal constraint networks, that can be used to infer alternative futures of a project as it unfolds. We present algorithms that can traverse the network in time, reason about the constraints driving the construction project, and present the combinatorial possibilities of futures that can emerge from one or more constraint violations during project implementation. The graphical depictions of the traversal results will aid construction managers in anticipating and reacting to crisis scenarios as they evolve in time. We present a case study and illustrate how the proposed algorithms can be used to represent and model uncertainty and estimate contingencies in construction projects. This research is part of a broader framework that integrates construction education, the study of expert decision making, and intelligent decision making aids.

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© 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2009.03.010

Publication Title

Automation in Construction