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Quantitative Techniques for Decision Making in Construction

S.L. Tang ,Irtishad U. Ahmad ,Syed M. Ahmed ,Ming Lu

Publication Year: 2004

This book contains mainly quantitative techniques used to assist decision making, including analytic hierarchy process (AHP), decision theories, conditional probabilities and the value of information, inventory modeling, dynamic programming, Monte-Carlo simulation, CYCLONE simulation modeling, information systems and process of decision making in construction.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

CONTENTS

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pp. v-vi

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-viii

Construction professionals all over the world are facing tremendous, ever-increasing challenges, both technical and managerial. They have to keep abreast with the latest techniques in both technology and management. Management techniques can be qualitative or quantitative. In the experience of the authors of this book, quantitative management techniques, unlike ...

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1.ANALYTIC HIERARCHY PROCESS I

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pp. 1-17

The "Analytic Hierarchy Process" (or AHP in short), a mathematical tool for management decision making, was introduced by Thomas L. Saaty (1977 and 1980). The mathematical technique is capable of handling a large number of decision factors and provides a systematic procedure of ranking many decision variables. It is a decision analysis technique which can be very useful ...

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2.ANALYIC HIERARCHY PROCESS II

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pp. 19-33

... Johnson, Beine and Wang (1979), two years after Saaty proposed his AHP theory, discovered that the priority vectors calculated from a same reciprocal matrix using the right eigenvector approach and the left eigenvector approach may have disagreed results. Let us look at the following example. ...

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3.DECISION THEORY USING EMV CRITERION

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pp. 35-47

In day-to-day work, construction managers may face problems which involve probability, that is, for any one particular action that an engineer takes, there may be several probable outcomes. Let us consider a simple example. A contractor has to decide whether to hire concrete pumping equipment in order to complete a foundation work tomorrow. If he does not hire the equipment, work will be delayed and he will suffer a loss of $10,000. If he hires the equipment, he anticipates two ...

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4.DECISION THEORY USING EUV CRITERION

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pp. 49-64

In Section 3.3 of Chapter 3, it was explained that the EMV criterion in decision analysis is based on the law of averages. If the decision maker can afford to take a long-term view and accept temporary losses and gains, such a decision may pay off in the long run. ...

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5.THE VALUE OF INFORMATION IN DECISION MODELS

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pp. 65-72

Sometimes, a decision problem may involve conditional probabilities. For example, if a construction problem is related to underground soil conditions, engineers can only give predictions. No matter how experienced the engineer is, he cannot predict 100% the true state of the soil conditions underground. Some engineering test, such as seismic test, can, at best, help provide more ...

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6.INVENTORY MODELLING I

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pp. 73-84

A construction firm has to keep a constant inventory of stock. If a site runs out of cement, say, then construction may come to a halt. Conversely, if a site carries an excessive amount of cement, a higher cost will be incurred to store the excessive stock. ...

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7.INVENTORY MODELLING II

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pp. 85-100

... However, new stock may arrive later than scheduled, and there may be unexpected excessive demand on stock. Such situations lead to what is known as stockout, which is when the inventory on hand cannot cover needs. This shortage of stock is represented by the shaded portion of the graph under zero inventory in Fig. 7.2. ...

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8.DYNAMIC PROGRAMMING

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pp. 101-123

Dynamic programming is an optimization technique. The word dynamic. is used because in this technique decisions are taken at distinct stages. It is based on the principle of optimality as stated by Richard Bellman (Bellman, 1957) that the overall optimal solution contains the sub-optimal solution that is from the start to a certain stage of a problem. ...

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9.SIMULATION I

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pp. 125-141

Simulation is the process of conducting experiments with a model of the system that is being studied or designed. It is a powerful technique for both analyzing and synthesizing engineering and other natural systems. The simulation procedure is basically an iterative procedure and may be described as an input-output study with feedback provided to guide the changes in the input parameters. ...

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10.SIMULATION II

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pp. 143-150

Construction planning is the most crucial, knowledge-intensive, illstructured, and challenging phase in the project development cycle due to the complicated, interactive, and dynamic nature of construction processes (Halpin and Riggs, 1992). The methodology of discrete-event simulation, as discussed in Chapter 9, which concerns "the modelling of a system as it ...

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11.INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND PROCESS OF DECISION MAKING

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pp. 151-161

The business of construction is information-intensive, dependent on accurate, reliable, up-do-date and timely information. The amount of information can be vast encompassing legal requirements, building codes, specifications and standards, current and historic data about techniques, cost and schedule. Nowadays construction projects are increasingly more complex, and an ...

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12.PLANNING AND SCHEDULING DECISION

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pp. 163-179

Completing a project on time, within budget and according to specifications should be the overall objective of a project team. This objective cannot be achieved without proper planning and scheduling. ...

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 181-184

Answers to Selected Exercise Questions

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pp. 185-217

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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pp. 219-220

S.L. Tang is a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is a Chartered Civil Engineer and obtained his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Hong Kong in 1972, M.Sc. in Construction Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 1977, and Ph.D. from the Civil Engineering ...


E-ISBN-13: 9789882202603
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622097056

Page Count: 226
Publication Year: 2004