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Paper w78-2010-97:
Examining Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modeling for Improving Decision Makings in Construction Organizations

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Jing Du, Mohamed El-Gafy

Examining Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modeling for Improving Decision Makings in Construction Organizations

Abstract: The management on construction projects and organizations is very important. However it is poorly understood considering the declining performance of construction industry. Managing and predicting the work performance of a construction organization tends to be extremely difficult using conventional management approaches. This paper regards construction as a complex system and proposes the use of Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) as a management enhancement tool for construction organizations. Building on an organizational simulation platform proposed by the authors (Virtual Organizational Imitation for Construction Enterprises, VOICE), the influence of human and organizational factors on work performance has been investigated. Additionally, different management scenarios of a case study in construction bidding have been examined using a complete management cycle, Plan-Simulation-Check-Action (PSCA). The results indicated the new management tool can easily help decision makers to streamline processes, manage human resources, and testify any changes at real time. It demonstrated better practicability than conventional management. This paper highlighted the value of the proposed approach on managing construction organizations.

Keywords: complex system, project management, agent based modeling, decision making

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