A Distributed Simulation Approach for Contractor Company Performance Management in the Construction Industry

Ronald Ekyalimpa
2015
Acquiring and sustaining an advantage over competitors in an era that is characterized by more complex and massive projects, scarce resources, more stringent client requirements, and higher expectations from board members is quite challenging for construction companies. It is believed that implementing sound performance management systems is an effective way of overcoming this challenge. A number of traditional performance management techniques such as the Balanced Score Card (BSC), Key
more » ... nce Indicators (KPIs), Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA), etc. have been in use, but have shown a number of problems. Examples of these include: they are self centered, data driven, tedious to use and lagging. In an attempt to overcome the problems with traditional performance management systems, a number of simulation-based systems were created. These also had their shortfalls. For example they did not model the project arrival process and competitive work acquisition process explicitly. They also did not model the work execution process and performance measure generation process in detail. This thesis study set out to advance the state-of-the-art of simulation-based performance management systems. Real world constructs that relate to the business operations of a typical construction company were abstracted and represented using different simulation paradigms. For example, the competitive work acquisition process was modelled using an agent-based approach because of the interaction that exists between autonomous or semi-autonomous and concurrently self-executing constructs. On the other hand, the execution of awarded projects at the companies was emulated using a Discrete Event Simulation (DES) modeling approach. iii The agent-based model was developed using the AnyLogic simulation system while Simphony and Visual Studio were used for developing the DES model. Subsequently, these two components were configured into High Level Architecture (HLA) federates and integrated to form a distributed simulation system using a distributed simulation framework known as COnstruction SYnthetic Environment (COSYE). A simulation-based performance management application was developed in this study. A number of insights were gained in the course of developing the application. For example, robust design patterns and system architecture were used that could be applied in solving other similar complex problems. Also, a number of approaches were devised for effectively modeling different illstructured phenomena (such as safety and quality) that exist within the construction domain. Verification and validation work done on the developed application proved that the application was reliable and realistic. iv
doi:10.7939/r31387 fatcat:xgyu5iv7oncofg7g5ssncwvjgi