Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management

Cover of Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management

Theory and Applications

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Synopsis

Table of contents

(15 chapters)

Prelims

Pages 1-36
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Part 1 Introduction to Fuzzy Logic and Overview of Fuzzy Hybrid Techniques in Construction Engineering and Management

Abstract

Construction is a highly dynamic environment with numerous interacting factors that affect construction processes and decisions. Uncertainty is inherent in most aspects of construction engineering and management, and traditionally, it has been treated as a random phenomenon. However, there are many types of uncertainty that are not naturally modelled by probability theory, such as subjectivity, ambiguity and vagueness. Fuzzy logic provides an approach for handling such uncertainties. However, fuzzy logic alone has some limitations, including its inability to learn from data and its extensive reliance on expert knowledge. To address these limitations, fuzzy logic has been combined with other techniques to create fuzzy hybrid techniques, which have helped solve complex problems in construction. In this chapter, a background on fuzzy logic in the context of construction engineering and management applications is presented. The chapter provides an introduction to uncertainty in construction and illustrates how fuzzy logic can improve construction modelling and decision-making. The role of fuzzy logic in representing uncertainty is contrasted with that of probability theory. Introductory material is presented on key definitions, properties and methods of fuzzy logic, including the definition and representation of fuzzy sets and membership functions, basic operations on fuzzy sets, fuzzy relations and compositions, defuzzification methods, entropy for fuzzy sets, fuzzy numbers, methods for the specification of membership functions and fuzzy rule-based systems. Finally, a discussion on the need for fuzzy hybrid modelling in construction applications is presented, and future research directions are proposed.

Abstract

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes and relies on the analysis of uncertain, imprecise and incomplete information, including subjective and linguistically expressed information. Various modelling and computing techniques have been used by construction researchers and applied to practical construction problems in order to overcome these challenges, including fuzzy hybrid techniques. Fuzzy hybrid techniques combine the human-like reasoning capabilities of fuzzy logic with the capabilities of other techniques, such as optimization, machine learning, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and simulation, to capitalise on their strengths and overcome their limitations. Based on a review of construction literature, this chapter identifies the most common types of fuzzy hybrid techniques applied to construction problems and reviews selected papers in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique to illustrate their capabilities for addressing construction challenges. Finally, this chapter discusses areas for future development of fuzzy hybrid techniques that will increase their capabilities for solving construction-related problems. The contributions of this chapter are threefold: (1) the limitations of some standard techniques for solving construction problems are discussed, as are the ways that fuzzy methods have been hybridized with these techniques in order to address their limitations; (2) a review of existing applications of fuzzy hybrid techniques in construction is provided in order to illustrate the capabilities of these techniques for solving a variety of construction problems and (3) potential improvements in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique in construction are provided, as areas for future research.

Part 2 Theoretical Approaches of Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management

Abstract

Fuzzy numbers are often used to represent non-probabilistic uncertainty in engineering, decision-making and control system applications. In these applications, fuzzy arithmetic operations are frequently used for solving mathematical equations that contain fuzzy numbers. There are two approaches proposed in the literature for implementing fuzzy arithmetic operations: the α-cut approach and the extension principle approach using different t-norms. Computational methods for the implementation of fuzzy arithmetic operations in different applications are also proposed in the literature; these methods are usually developed for specific types of fuzzy numbers. This chapter discusses existing methods for implementing fuzzy arithmetic on triangular fuzzy numbers using both the α-cut approach and the extension principle approach using the min and drastic product t-norms. This chapter also presents novel computational methods for the implementation of fuzzy arithmetic on triangular fuzzy numbers using algebraic product and bounded difference t-norms. The applicability of the α-cut approach is limited because it tends to overestimate uncertainty, and the extension principle approach using the drastic product t-norm produces fuzzy numbers that are highly sensitive to changes in the input fuzzy numbers. The novel computational methods proposed in this chapter for implementing fuzzy arithmetic using algebraic product and bounded difference t-norms contribute to a more effective use of fuzzy arithmetic in construction applications. This chapter also presents an example of the application of fuzzy arithmetic operations to a construction problem. In addition, it discusses the effects of using different approaches for implementing fuzzy arithmetic operations in solving practical construction problems.

Abstract

Several different simulation techniques, such as discrete event simulation (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM), have been used to model complex construction systems such as construction processes and project management practices; however, these techniques do not take into account the subjective uncertainties that exist in many construction systems. Integrating fuzzy logic with simulation techniques enhances the capabilities of those simulation techniques, and the resultant fuzzy simulation models are then capable of handling subjective uncertainties in complex construction systems. The objectives of this chapter are to show how to integrate fuzzy logic and simulation techniques in construction modelling and to provide methodologies for the development of fuzzy simulation models in construction. In this chapter, an overview of simulation techniques that are used in construction is presented. Next, the advancements that have been made by integrating fuzzy logic and simulation techniques are introduced. Methodologies for developing fuzzy simulation models are then proposed. Finally, the process of selecting a suitable simulation technique for each particular aspect of construction modelling is discussed.

Abstract

With numerous and ambiguous sets of information and often conflicting requirements, construction management is a complex process involving much uncertainty. Decision makers may be challenged with satisfying multiple criteria using vague information. Fuzzy multi-criteria decision-making (FMCDM) provides an innovative approach for addressing complex problems featuring diverse decision makers’ interests, conflicting objectives and numerous but uncertain bits of information. FMCDM has therefore been widely applied in construction management. With the increase in information complexity, extensions of fuzzy set (FS) theory have been generated and adopted to improve its capacity to address this complexity. Examples include hesitant FSs (HFSs), intuitionistic FSs (IFSs) and type-2 FSs (T2FSs). This chapter introduces commonly used FMCDM methods, examines their applications in construction management and discusses trends in future research and application. The chapter first introduces the MCDM process as well as FS theory and its three main extensions, namely, HFSs, IFSs and T2FSs. The chapter then explores the linkage between FS theory and its extensions and MCDM approaches. In total, 17 FMCDM methods are reviewed and two FMCDM methods (i.e. T2FS-TOPSIS and T2FS-PROMETHEE) are further improved based on the literature. These 19 FMCDM methods with their corresponding applications in construction management are discussed in a systematic manner. This review and development of FS theory and its extensions should help both researchers and practitioners better understand and handle information uncertainty in complex decision problems.

Abstract

Most decision-making problems in construction are complex and difficult to solve, as they involve multiple criteria and multiple decision makers in addition to subjective uncertainties, imprecisions and vagueness surrounding the decision-making process. In many instances, the decision-making process is based on linguistic terms rather than numerical values. Hence, structured fuzzy consensus-reaching processes and fuzzy aggregation methods are instrumental in multi-criteria group decision-making (MCGDM) problems for capturing the point of view of a group of experts. This chapter outlines different fuzzy consensus-reaching processes and fuzzy aggregation methods. It presents the background of the basic theory and formulation of these processes and methods, as well as numerical examples that illustrate their theory and formulation. Application areas of fuzzy consensus reaching and fuzzy aggregation in the construction domain are identified, and an overview of previously developed frameworks for fuzzy consensus reaching and fuzzy aggregation is provided. Finally, areas for future work are presented that highlight emerging trends and the imminent needs of fuzzy consensus reaching and fuzzy aggregation in the construction domain.

Abstract

Managing complex construction projects is a challenging task because it involves multiple factors and decision-making processes. A systematic evaluation of these complex factors is imperative for achieving project success. As most of these factors are qualitative or intangible in nature, decision makers often rely on subjective judgements when comparing and evaluating them. The hybrid techniques that integrate fuzzy set theory and the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) are able to deal with such problems. This chapter discusses various hybrid techniques of the fuzzy AHP and presents an application of these techniques to the evaluation of transportation project complexity, which is essential for prioritising resource allocation and assessing project performance. Project complexity can be quantified and visualised effectively with the application of the fuzzy AHP. This chapter enhances the understanding of construction project complexity and fuzzy hybrid computing in construction engineering and management. Future research should address the calibration of fuzzy membership functions in pairwise comparisons for each individual decision maker and develop computational tools for solving optimisation problems in the constrained fuzzy AHP. In the area of construction project complexity, future research should investigate how scarce resources are allocated to better manage complex projects and how appropriate resource allocation improves their performance.

Part 3 Applications of Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management

Abstract

The robust appraisal of exploration drilling concepts is essential for establishing the economic viability of a prospective recovery field. This study evaluates the different concept selection methods that were considered for drilling operations at the Trym field in Norway. The construction of drilling rigs is a capital-intensive process, and it involves high levels of economic risk. These risks can be broadly categorised as aleatoric (i.e. those related to chance) and epistemic (i.e. those related to knowledge). Evaluating risks in the investment appraisal process tends to be a complicated process. Project risks are evaluated using Monte Carlo simulation (MCS) and are based on the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (AHP). MCS provides a useful means of evaluating variabilities (i.e. aleatoric risks) in oil drilling operations. However, many of the economic risks in oil drilling processes are unanticipated, and, in some cases, are not readily expressible in quantitative values. The fuzzy AHP is therefore used to appraise the qualitatively defined indirect revenues comprising risks that affect future flexibilities, schedule certainty and health and safety performance. Both the Monte Carlo technique and the fuzzy AHP technique found that a cumulative revenue variation of up to 30% is possible in any of the considered drilling options. The fuzzy AHP technique estimates that the chances of profitability being less than NOK 1 billion over a five-year period is 0.5%, while the Monte Carlo technique estimates suggest a more conservative proportion of 10%. Overall, the fuzzy AHP technique is easy to use and flexible, and it demonstrates increased robustness and improved predictability.

Abstract

Allocating risk in public–private partnership (PPP) projects based on public–private parties’ risk management (RM) capabilities is a condition for success of these projects. In practice, however, risks are allocated to these parties beyond their respective RM capabilities. Too much risk is often assigned to the private or public party, resulting in poor RM and costly contract renegotiations and terminations. This chapter proposes a methodology based on fuzzy set theory (FST) in which decision makers (DMs) use linguistic variables to assess and calculate RM capability values of public–private parties for risk events and to arrive at risk allocation (RA) decisions. The proposed methodology is based on integrating RA decision criteria, the Delphi method and the fuzzy synthetic evaluation (FSE) technique. The application of FSE allows for the introduction of linguistic variables that express DMs’ evaluations of RM capabilities. This provides a means to deal with the problems of qualitative, multi-criteria analysis, subjectivity and uncertainty that characterise decision-making in the construction domain. The methodology is outlined and demonstrated based on empirical data collected through a three-round Delphi survey. The public–private parties’ RM capability values for land acquisition risk are calculated using the proposed methodology. The methodology is helpful for performing fuzzy-based analysis in PPP projects, even in the event of limited or no data. This chapter makes the contribution of presenting a RA decision-making methodology that is easy to understand and use in PPP contracting and that enables DMs to track calculations of RM capability values.

Abstract

The construction sector has significantly evolved in recent decades, in parallel with a huge increase in the amount of data generated and exchanged in any construction project. These data need to be managed in order to complete a successful project in terms of quality, cost and schedule in the the context of a safe project environment while appropriately organising many construction documents.

However, the origin of these data is very diverse, mainly due to the sector’s characteristics. Moreover, these data are affected by uncertainty, complexity and diversity due to the imprecise nature of the many factors involved in construction projects. As a result, construction project data are associated with large, irregular and scattered datasets.

The objective of this chapter is to introduce an approach based on a fuzzy multi-dimensional model and on line analytical processing (OLAP) operations in order to manage construction data and support the decision-making process based on previous experiences. On one hand, the proposal allows for the integration of data in a common repository which is accessible to users along the whole project’s life cycle. On the other hand, it allows for the establishment of more flexible structures for representing the data of the main tasks in the construction project management domain. The incorporation of this fuzzy framework allows for the management of imprecision in construction data and provides easy and intuitive access to users so that they can make more reliable decisions.

Abstract

Fluctuations in the tender price index have an adverse effect on the construction sector and the economy at large. This is largely due to the positive relationship that exists between the construction industry and economic growth. The consequences of these variations include cost overruns and schedule delays, among others. An accurate forecast of the tender price index is good for controlling the uncertainty associated with its variation. In the present study, the efficacy of using an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) for tender price forecasting is investigated. In addition, the Box–Jenkins model, which is considered a benchmark technique, was used to evaluate the performance of the ANFIS model. The results demonstrate that the ANFIS model is superior to the Box–Jenkins model in terms of the accuracy and reliability of the forecast. The ANFIS could provide an accurate and reliable forecast of the tender price index in the medium term (i.e. over a three-year period). This chapter provides evidence of the advantages of applying nonlinear modelling techniques (such as the ANFIS) to tender price index forecasting. Although the proposed ANFIS model is applied to the tender price index in this study, it can also be applied to a wider range of problems in the field of construction engineering and management.

Abstract

This chapter discusses the application of fuzzy cognitive map (FCM) modelling to construction management (CM) challenges and problems. It focuses on the critical issue of managing the complexity and uncertainty inherent in CM by providing a new intelligent layer that enhances classical approaches to construction modelling and management. It investigates how the myriad types of internal and external factors affecting the feasibility and performance of construction projects can be modelled using a fuzzy hybrid method that explores the complex relationships among many contributing factors and assesses and evaluates their impacts on past and future projects. This chapter proposes a hybrid modelling approach in the traditional context of cost, schedule and risk management and describes how augmenting and enhancing existing state-of-the-art tools and processes in CM can assist construction managers. This chapter provides a background on the theory of FCMs, presents foundational and current research, and explains how to apply this approach in the CM domain. This chapter also provides a detailed description of how to develop, modify and employ interactive models to specific CM challenges and problems. It includes a customisable, interactive base model and demonstrates how the model has been applied to specific CM events and issues. Examples are presented that highlight the interplay between project-specific goals and characteristics and the way these impact the interrelated and often opposing triad of cost, schedule and risk. The presented examples and practical applications make this state-of-the-art approach useful to both academic and industry practitioners.

Abstract

This chapter presents a novel human arm gesture tracking and recognition technique based on fuzzy logic and nonlinear Kalman filtering with applications in crane guidance. A Kinect visual sensor and a Myo armband sensor are jointly utilised to perform data fusion to provide more accurate and reliable information on Euler angles, angular velocity, linear acceleration and electromyography data in real time. Dynamic equations for arm gesture movement are formulated with Newton–Euler equations based on Denavit–Hartenberg parameters. Nonlinear Kalman filtering techniques, including the extended Kalman filter and the unscented Kalman filter, are applied in order to perform reliable sensor fusion, and their tracking accuracies are compared. A Sugeno-type fuzzy inference system is proposed for arm gesture recognition. Hardware experiments have shown the efficacy of the proposed method for crane guidance applications.

Index

Pages 475-494
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Cover of Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
DOI
10.1108/9781787438682
Publication date
2018-10-05
Editor
ISBN
978-1-78743-868-2
eISBN
978-1-78743-868-2