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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Nima Gerami Seresht and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Due to its key role in the successful delivery of construction projects, construction productivity is one of the most researched topics in construction domain. While the…

Abstract

Purpose

Due to its key role in the successful delivery of construction projects, construction productivity is one of the most researched topics in construction domain. While the majority of previous research is focused on the productivity of labor-intensive activities, there is a lack of research on the productivity of equipment-intensive activities. The purpose of this paper is to address this research gap by developing a comprehensive list of factors influencing the productivity of equipment-intensive activities and determining the most influential factors through interview surveys.

Design/methodology/approach

A list of 201 factors influencing the productivity of equipment-intensive activities was developed through the review of 287 articles, selected from the ten top-ranked construction journals, by searching for construction productivity in the articles’ titles, abstracts or keywords. Next, the most influential factors were determined by conducting interview surveys with 35 construction experts. To ensure that the interviewees were aware of the research objectives and the distinction between labor- and equipment-intensive activities, an information session was held prior to conducting the surveys, and the surveys were conducted in interview format to allow for clarification and discussion throughout the process.

Findings

Project management respondents identified foreman-, safety- and crew-related factors as the categories with the most influence on productivity; tradespeople respondents identified foreman-, equipment- and crew-related factors as the most influential categories. In total, 14 factors were identified, for which there was a significant difference between the perspectives of project management and tradespeople regarding the factors’ influence on productivity.

Originality/value

This paper provides a comprehensive list of factors influencing the productivity of equipment-intensive activities. It identifies the most influential factors through an interview survey of 35 construction experts, who are familiar with the challenges of equipment-intensive activities based on their experience with such activities in the industrial construction sector of Alberta, Canada. Additionally, the differences between the factors that influence the productivity of labor- and equipment-intensive activities are discussed by comparing the findings of this paper with previous research focused on labor intensive activities.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 69 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Nima Gerami Seresht, Rodolfo Lourenzutti, Ahmad Salah and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes…

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.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Mohammad Raoufi and Aminah Robinson Fayek

This paper aims to cover the development of a methodology for hybrid fuzzy Monte Carlo agent-based simulation (FMCABS) and its implementation on a parametric study of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to cover the development of a methodology for hybrid fuzzy Monte Carlo agent-based simulation (FMCABS) and its implementation on a parametric study of construction crew performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The developed methodology uses fuzzy logic, Monte Carlo simulation and agent-based modeling to simulate the behavior of construction crews and predict their performance. Both random and subjective uncertainties are considered in model variables.

Findings

The developed methodology was implemented on a real case involving the parametric study of construction crew performance to assess its applicability and suitability for this context.

Research limitations/implications

This parametric study demonstrates a practical application for the hybrid FMCABS methodology. Though findings from this study are limited to the context of construction crew motivation and performance, the applicability of the developed methodology extends beyond the construction domain.

Practical implications

This paper will help construction practitioners to predict and improve crew performance by taking into account both random and subjective uncertainties.

Social implications

This paper will advance construction modeling by allowing for the assessment of social interactions among crews and their effects on crew performance.

Originality/value

The developed hybrid FMCABS methodology represents an original contribution, as it allows agent-based models to simultaneously process all types of variables (i.e. deterministic, random and subjective) in the same simulation experiment while accounting for interactions among different agents. In addition, the developed methodology is implemented in a novel and extensive parametric study of construction crew performance.

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Mohammad Raoufi, Nima Gerami Seresht, Nasir Bedewi Siraj and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Several different simulation techniques, such as discrete event simulation (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM), have been used to model complex…

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.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Aminah Robinson Fayek and Rodolfo Lourenzutti

Construction is a highly dynamic environment with numerous interacting factors that affect construction processes and decisions. Uncertainty is inherent in most aspects of…

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.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Nasir Bedewi Siraj, Aminah Robinson Fayek and Mohamed M. G. Elbarkouky

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…

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.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Abstract

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Nima Gerami Seresht and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Fuzzy numbers are often used to represent non-probabilistic uncertainty in engineering, decision-making and control system applications. In these applications, fuzzy…

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.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Abraham Assefa Tsehayae and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Despite long-term, sustained research and industry practice, predicting construction labour productivity (CLP) using existing factor and activity modelling approaches…

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite long-term, sustained research and industry practice, predicting construction labour productivity (CLP) using existing factor and activity modelling approaches remains a challenge. The purpose of this paper is to first demonstrate the limited usefulness of activity models and then to propose a system model approach that integrates factor and activity models for better prediction of CLP.

Design/methodology/approach

The system model parameters – comprising factors and practices – and work sampling proportions (WSPs) were identified from literature. Field data were collected from 11 projects over a span of 29 months. Activity models based on the relationship between CLP and WSPs were created, and their validity was tested using regression analysis for eight activities in the concreting, electrical and shutdown categories. The proposed system model was developed for concreting activity using the key influencing parameters in conjunction with WSPs.

Findings

The results of the regression analysis indicate that WSPs, like direct work, are not significantly correlated to CLP and fail to explain its variance. Evaluation of the system model approach for the concreting activity showed improved CLP prediction as compared to existing approaches.

Research limitations/implications

The system model was tested for concreting activity using data collected from six projects; however, further investigation into the model’s accuracy and efficacy using data collected from other labour-intensive activities is suggested.

Originality/value

This research establishes the role of WSPs in CLP modelling, and develops a system modelling approach to assist researchers and practitioners in the analysis of productivity-influencing parameters together with WSPs.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 5 October 2018

Olubukola Tokede, Adam Ayinla and Sam Wamuziri

The robust appraisal of exploration drilling concepts is essential for establishing the economic viability of a prospective recovery field. This study evaluates the…

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.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

Keywords

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