Impact of linear correlation on construction project performance using stochastic linear scheduling

Ricardo Eiris Pereira, Ian Flood
2017 Visualization in Engineering  
In the construction industry, the productivity of all trades is directly impacted by uncertainty and variability. For repetitive projects, smooth work flow of productive resources is necessary to minimize or eliminate interruptions and idle time with the objective of reducing costs. An ideal or near optimal solution requires careful planning of the sequence, timing and resource allocations for each activity. Earlier research has demonstrated that uncertainty in the duration of repeated
more » ... s can have a significant impact on what is determined to be the optimum project plan. This suggests that correlation in the duration of repeated activities (where durations are stochastic) may also be important in determining the most favorable plan. Methods: This study assesses the significance of correlation in this respect, using a Linear Scheduling framework for modeling repetitive construction work. Numerical and graphical results are used in a case study to evaluate and compare the optimal solution derived for both deterministic and stochastic environments. For the stochastic environment, a range of levels of correlation are considered using linear correlation between immediate successor repetitions of an activity. Results: The results provide insight into the effects of different degrees of correlation on the expected project duration, cost, crew and equipment idle times and interruptions. The correlation level has effects that translate into performance tradeoffs depending on the initial plan assumptions applied to the activities. Conclusions: The impact of full correlation on the optimality of a project plan was found, on average, to introduce idle time to crews equal to 7% of their active time, and to cause avoidable delays to the completion of a project equal to 12% of the project duration. The authors believe these inefficiencies justify further investigation of the impact of correlation on construction projects, including the development of more sophisticated models of correlation.
doi:10.1186/s40327-017-0045-2 fatcat:eaqslj2xajakrgts6axo2ejfry