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Construction is a highly dynamic environment with numerous interacting factors that affect construction processes and decisions. Uncertainty is inherent in most aspects of…
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.
Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes…
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.