Publications / 2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada

Fuzzy Scheduling of Repetitive Construction Projects

I. Bakry, Dr. O. Moselhi, Dr. T. Zayed
Pages 395-403 (2013 Proceedings of the 30th ISARC, Montréal, Canada, ISBN 978-1-62993-294-1, ISSN 2413-5844)

Uncertainty is an inherent characteristic of construction projects. Neglecting uncertainties associated with different input parameters in the planning stage could well lead to misleading and/or unachievable project schedules. The objective of this paper is to present a new approach towards scheduling repetitive construction projects while accounting for uncertainty. The paper presents an algorithm that quantifies anticipated delays resulting from different sources of uncertainty in the form of fuzzy time buffers. Through inserting the time buffers in strategic places in a time schedule, the algorithm provides protection against those main anticipated delays. The presented algorithm comprises two integrated components, a scheduling component responsible for producing a basic Linear Scheduling Method (LSM) schedule with deterministic activity durations, and a buffer component that handles fuzzy buffers sizing and insertion. The presented algorithm offers four different buffer insertion techniques covering different cases of interrelations between successive activities. The algorithm is implemented in a spreadsheet application, which automates calculations, yet allows users to fine tune the algorithm to fit the project at hand. With a focuses on highway construction projects as an example of repetitive construction projects, this paper accounts for sources of uncertainty such as weather, site conditions, change orders and equipment related delays. A hypothetical case is studied and explained to further demonstrate how the proposed algorithm works.

Keywords: Repetitive projects, fuzzy scheduling, time buffers, uncertainty