An effective simulation mechanism for construction operations

Tao Ming Cheng, Chung Wei Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Construction project planners have used computer simulation to predict the performance of the construction operation in terms of process flows and resource selection for decades. Traditionally, however, to find the best resource utilization of the construction operation, all possible resource combinations should be tested within the simulation process. That is, an exhaustive enumeration of resource combinations should be conducted, which is not economic if the possible resource combinations increase explosively. Therefore, simulation is not considered as an optimization technique. Genetic Algorithms (GA), developed by John Holland in 1975, has been widely applied to different disciplines of research for solving the optimization problems. GA is also known for its flexibility in hybridizing with other methodologies to obtain better solutions of the simulation systems. This paper presents a new mechanism that integrates simulation with GA to find the best resource combination for the construction operation. Results show that the new simulation mechanism can effectively locate the optimal resource combination for the construction operation and enhance the optimization capability of the construction simulation. In addition, a user-friendly computer simulation system - Genetic Algorithms with Construction Operation Simulation Tool (GACOST) was developed to provide the construction planner an efficient means of analyzing and optimizing the construction operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-244
Number of pages18
JournalAutomation in construction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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