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Article

K.C. LAM, TIESONG HU, S.O. CHEUNG, R.K.K. YUEN and Z.M. DENG

Modelling of the multiproject cash flow decisions in a contracting firm facilitates optimal resource utilization, financial planning, profit forecasting and enables the…

Abstract

Modelling of the multiproject cash flow decisions in a contracting firm facilitates optimal resource utilization, financial planning, profit forecasting and enables the inclusion of cash‐flow liquidity in forecasting. However, a great challenge for contracting firm to manage his multiproject cash flow when large and multiple construction projects are involved (manipulate large amount of resources, e.g. labour, plant, material, cost, etc.). In such cases, the complexity of the problem, hence the constraints involved, renders most existing regular optimization techniques computationally intractable within reasonable time frames. This limit inhibits the ability of contracting firms to complete construction projects at maximum efficiency through efficient utilization of resources among projects. Recently, artificial neural networks have demonstrated its strength in solving many optimization problems efficiently. In this regard a novel recurrent‐neural‐network model that integrates multi‐objective linear programming and neural network (MOLPNN) techniques has been developed. The model was applied to a relatively large contracting company running 10 projects concurrently in Hong Kong. The case study verified the feasibility and applicability of the MOLPNN to the defined problem. A comparison undertaken of two optimal schedules (i.e. risk‐avoiding scheme A and risk‐seeking scheme B) of cash flow based on the decision maker's preference is described in this paper.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

K.C. LAM, S. THOMAS NG, TIESONG HU, MARTIN SKITMORE and S.O. CHEUNG

The selection criteria for contractor pre‐qualification are characterized by the co‐existence of both quantitative and qualitative data. The qualitative data is…

Abstract

The selection criteria for contractor pre‐qualification are characterized by the co‐existence of both quantitative and qualitative data. The qualitative data is non‐linear, uncertain and imprecise. An ideal decision support system for contractor pre‐qualification should have the ability of handling both quantitative and qualitative data, and of mapping the complicated non‐linear relationship of the selection criteria, such that rational and consistent decisions can be made. In this research paper, an artificial neural network model was developed to assist public clients identifying suitable contractors for tendering. The pre‐qualification criteria (variables) were identified for the model. One hundred and twelve real pre‐qualification cases were collected from civil engineering projects in Hong Kong, and 88 hypothetical pre‐qualification cases were also generated according to the ‘If‐then’ rules used by professionals in the pre‐qualification process. The results of the analysis totally comply with current practice (public developers in Hong Kong). Each pre‐qualification case consisted of input ratings for candidate contractors' attributes and their corresponding pre‐qualification decisions. The training of the neural network model was accomplished by using the developed program, in which a conjugate gradient descent algorithm was incorporated for improving the learning performance of the network. Cross‐validation was applied to estimate the generalization errors based on the ‘re‐sampling’ of training pairs. The case studies show that the artificial neural network model is suitable for mapping the complicated non‐linear relationship between contractors' attributes and their corresponding pre‐qualification (disqualification) decisions. The artificial neural network model can be concluded as an ideal alternative for performing the contractor pre‐qualification task.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Victor Karikari Acheamfour, Ernest Kissi, Theophilus Adjei-Kumi and Emmanuel Adinyira

The studies on contractor prequalification focus more on the review of models and algorithms rather than review of the criteria for contractor prequalification. However…

Abstract

Purpose

The studies on contractor prequalification focus more on the review of models and algorithms rather than review of the criteria for contractor prequalification. However, the basis of every prequalification model primarily relates to the measurement and judgement of prospective contractors based on a set of decision criteria. This paper aims to address the gap by reviewing academic papers on contractor prequalification criteria.

Design/methodology/approach

A desktop search was conducted under the “T/A/K (title/abstract/keyword)” field of the Scopus search engine. A total of 49 papers were initially identified; however, only peer reviewed journals were selected for the study; therefore, a sample of 36 was subsequently used. Further filtering was done in which 26 papers were found valid for further analysis as it was realized that, not all the identified papers presented empirical arguments about the issue of contractor pre-qualification criteria. The selected 26 papers were subjected to content analysis to identify the key contractor pre-qualification criteria.

Findings

A total of 41 criteria were identified which were subsequently classified into six main categories, namely, technical considerations, management considerations, financial considerations, reputation considerations, general experience considerations and health, safety and environmental considerations. There was an indication that, the involvement of health, safety and environmental considerations in contractor prequalification proceedings is limited.

Research limitations/implications

The major limitation of this research was the limited number of papers selected for further analysis based on the Scopus search engine. The identified criteria serve as a basis for further empirical studies on contractor prequalification criteria.

Practical implications

The outcome of this study broadens the understanding of practitioners and researchers on the various criteria for contractor prequalification.

Originality/value

By critically reviewing available literature on contractor prequalification, the study sets the tone for further empirical studies on contractor prequalification.

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Article

Mohamed Marzouk

Contractor selection is carried out in order to choose a competent and capable contractor to do the work. To help in this selection, baselines are established to ensure…

Abstract

Purpose

Contractor selection is carried out in order to choose a competent and capable contractor to do the work. To help in this selection, baselines are established to ensure that the contractors have the required skills, resources, and abilities to execute the project. Contractor selection is a multiple criteria decision making wherein several criteria are required to be evaluated simultaneously. This paper aims to propose a decision‐making model.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed model utilizes superiority and inferiority ranking (SIR) method and it provides six preference structures in order to compare the performance of alternatives' criteria. As such, it can represent discrete or continuous criteria. The preference structures utilize indifference and preference thresholds to capture the characteristics of functions that represent the specified criteria. The model provides two aggregation procedures (simple additive weighting and technique for order preference by similarity to the ideal solution) to generate superiority and inferiority flows.

Findings

The proposed model is generic and can be used as a tool to evaluate alternatives in several applications such as value engineering, optimum organization structure, and constructability analysis. It enables its users to define the criteria that are deemed important for evaluation.

Originality/value

The proposed multiple criteria decision making (SIR method) is novel to construction. This ranking method can be utilized as a successful tool in contractor selection problem.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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