Stochastic construction time-cost trade-off analysis

Chung Wei Feng, Liang Liu, Scott A. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional time-cost trade-off analysis assumes that the time and cost of an option within an activity are deterministic. However, in reality the time and cost are uncertain. Therefore, in analyzing the time-cost trade-off problem, uncertainties should be considered when minimizing project duration or cost. Simulation techniques are useful for analyzing stochastic effects, but a general strategy/algorithm is needed to guide the analysis to obtain optimal solutions. This paper presents a hybrid approach that combines simulation techniques and genetic algorithms to solve the time-cost trade-off problem under uncertainty. The results show that genetic algorithms can be integrated with simulation techniques to provide an efficient and practical means of obtaining optimal project schedules while assessing the associated risks in terms of time and cost of a construction project. This new approach provides construction engineers with a new way of analyzing construction time/cost decisions in a more realistic manner. Historical time/cost data and available options to complete a project can be modeled, so that construction engineers can identify the best strategies to take to complete the project at minimum time and cost. Also, what-if scenarios can be explored to decide the desired/optimal time and/or cost in planning and executing project activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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