Delays in the construction industry are a global phenomenon. Many construction projects experience extensive delays exceeding the initially estimated completion time. The main purpose of this study is to identify construction projects typical behaviors in order to develop a prognosis and management tool. Being able to know a construction projects schedule tendency will enable evidence-based decision-making to allow resolutions to be made before delays occur. This study presents an innovative approach that uses Cluster Analysis Method to support predictions during Earned Value Analyses. A clustering analysis was used to predict future scheduling, Earned Value Management (EVM), and Earned Schedule (ES) principal Indexes behaviors in construction projects. The analysis was made using a database with 90 different construction projects. It was validated with additional data extracted from literature and with another 15 contrasting projects. For all projects, planned and executed schedules were collected and the EVM and ES principal indexes were calculated. A complete linkage classification method was used. In this way, the cluster analysis made considers that the distance (or similarity) between two clusters must be measured by its most disparate elements, i.e. that the distance is given by the maximum span among its components. Finally, through the use of EVM and ES Indexes and Tukey and Fisher Pairwise Comparisons, the statistical dissimilarity was verified and four clusters were obtained. It can be said that construction projects show an average delay of 35% of its planned completion time. Furthermore, four typical behaviors were found and for each of the obtained clusters, the interim milestones and the necessary rhythms of construction were identified. In general, detected typical behaviors are: (1) Projects that perform a 5% of work advance in the first two tenths and maintain a constant rhythm until completion (greater than 10% for each remaining tenth), being able to finish on the initially estimated time. (2) Projects that start with an adequate construction rate but suffer minor delays culminating with a total delay of almost 27% of the planned time. (3) Projects which start with a performance below the planned rate and end up with an average delay of 64%, and (4) projects that begin with a poor performance, suffer great delays and end up with an average delay of a 120% of the planned completion time. The obtained clusters compose a tool to identify the behavior of new construction projects by comparing their current work performance to the validated database, thus allowing the correction of initial estimations towards more accurate completion schedules.
With increasing life expectancy in developed countries, the role of home care services is highlighted by both academia and industrial contributors in Home Health Care Supply Chain (HHCSC) companies. The main decisions in such supply chain systems are the location of pharmacies, the allocation of patients to these pharmacies and also the routing and scheduling decisions of nurses to visit their patients. In this study, for the first time, an integrated model is proposed to consist of all preliminary and necessary decisions in these companies, namely, location-allocation-routing model. This model is a type of NP-hard one. Therefore, an Imperialist Competitive Algorithm (ICA) is utilized to solve the model, especially in large sizes. Results confirm the efficiency of the developed model for HHCSC companies as well as the performance of employed ICA.
In the past, the quay crane operations have been well studied. There were a certain number of scheduling algorithms for quay crane operations, but without considering some nuisance factors that might disrupt the quay crane operations. For example, bad grapples make a crane unable to load or unload containers or a sudden strong breeze stops operations temporarily. Although these disruptive conditions randomly occur, they influence the efficiency of quay crane operations. The disruption is not considered in the operational procedures nor is evaluated in advance for its impacts. This study applies simulation and optimization approaches to develop structures of pre-analysis and post-analysis for the Quay Crane Scheduling Problem to deal with disruptive scenarios for quay crane operation. Numerical experiments are used for demonstrations for the validity of the developed approaches.
KOV pit (Kamoto Oliveira Virgule) is located 10 km from Kolwezi town, one of the mineral rich town in the Lualaba province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The KOV pit is currently operating under the Katanga Mining Limited (KML), a Glencore-Gecamines (a State Owned Company) join venture. Recently, the mine optimization process provided a life of mine of approximately 10 years withnice pushbacks using the Datamine NPV Scheduler software. In previous KOV pit studies, we recently outlined the impact of the accuracy of the geological information on a long-term mine plan for a big copper mine such as KOV pit. The approach taken, discussed three main scenarios and outlined some weaknesses on the geological information side, and now, in this paper that we are going to develop here, we are going to highlight, as an overview, those weaknesses, strengths and opportunities, in a global SWOT analysis. The approach we are taking here is essentially descriptive in terms of steps taken to optimize KOV pit and, at every step, we categorized the challenges we faced to have a better tradeoff between what we called strengths and what we called weaknesses. The same logic is applied in terms of the opportunities and threats. The SWOT analysis conducted in this paper demonstrates that, despite a general poor ore body definition, and very rude ground water conditions, there is room for improvement for such high grade ore body.
The development of CPUs and of real-time systems based on them made it possible to use time at increasingly low resolutions. Together with the scheduling methods and algorithms, time organizing has been improved so as to respond positively to the need for optimization and to the way in which the CPU is used. This presentation contains both a detailed theoretical description and the results obtained from research on improving the performances of the nMPRA (Multi Pipeline Register Architecture) processor by implementing specific functions in hardware. The proposed CPU architecture has been developed, simulated and validated by using the FPGA Virtex-7 circuit, via a SoC project. Although the nMPRA processor hardware structure with five pipeline stages is very complex, the present paper presents and analyzes the tests dedicated to the implementation of the CPU and of the memory on-chip for instructions and data. In order to practically implement and test the entire SoC project, various tests have been performed. These tests have been performed in order to verify the drivers for peripherals and the boot module named Bootloader.
Traditionally, three important manufacturing functions which are process planning, scheduling and due-date assignment are performed sequentially and separately. Although there are numerous works on the integration of process planning and scheduling and plenty of works focusing on scheduling with due date assignment, there are only a few works on integrated process planning, scheduling and due-date assignment. Although due-dates are determined without taking into account of weights of the customers in the literature, here weighted due-date assignment is employed to get better performance. Jobs are scheduled according to weighted earliest due date dispatching rule and due dates are determined according to some popular due date assignment methods by taking into account of the weights of each job. Simulated Annealing, Evolutionary Strategies, Random Search, hybrid of Random Search and Simulated Annealing, and hybrid of Random Search and Evolutionary Strategies, are applied as solution techniques. Three important manufacturing functions are integrated step-by-step and higher integration levels are found better. Search meta-heuristics are found to be very useful while improving performance measure.
Gamification has now started to take root in the post-secondary classroom. Educators have learned much about gamification to date but there is still a great deal to learn. One definition of gamification is the ability to engage post-secondary students with games that are fun and correlate to class room curriculum. There is no shortage of literature illustrating the advantages of gamification in the class room. This study is an extension of similar thought as well as an extension of a previous study where in class testing proved with the used of paired T-test that gamification did significantly improve the students’ understanding of subject material. Gamification itself in the class room can range from high end computer simulated software to paper based games of which both have advantages and disadvantages. This analysis used a paper based game to highlight certain qualitative advantages of gamification. The paper based game in this analysis was inexpensive, required low preparation time for the faculty member and consumed approximately 20 minutes of class room time. Data for the study was collected through in class student feedback surveys and narrative from the faculty member moderating the game. Students were randomly selected into groups of four. Qualitative advantages identified in this analysis included: 1. Students had a chance to meet, connect and know other students. 2. Students enjoyed the gamification process given there was a sense of fun and competition. 3. The post assessment that followed the simulation game was not part of their grade calculation therefore it was an opportunity to participate in a low risk activity whereby students could subsequently self-assess their understanding of the subject material. 4. In the view of the student, content knowledge did increase after the gamification process. These qualitative advantages identified in this analysis contribute to the argument that there should be an attempt to use gamification in today’s post-secondary class room. The analysis also highlighted that eighty (80) percent of the respondents believe twenty minutes devoted to the gamification process was appropriate, however twenty (20) percentage of respondents believed that rather than scheduling a gamification process and its post quiz in the last week, a review for the final exam may have been more useful. An additional study to this hopes to determine if the scheduling of the gamification had any correlation to a percentage of the students not wanting to be engaged in the process. As well, the additional study hopes to determine at what incremental level of time invested in class room gamification produce no material incremental benefits to the student as well as determine if any correlation exist between respondents preferring not to have it at the end of the semester to students not believing the gamification process added to the increase of their curricular knowledge.
The main objective of any irrigation program is the development of an efficient water management system to sustain crop growth and development and avoid physiological water stress in the growing plants. Field experiment to evaluate the effects of some soil moisture conservation practices on yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of maize was carried out in three locations (i.e. Mubi and Yola in the northern Guinea Savannah and Ganye in the southern Guinea Savannah of Adamawa State, Nigeria) during the dry seasons of 2013 and 2014. The experiment consisted of three different irrigation levels (7, 10 and 12 day irrigation intervals), two levels of mulch (mulch and un-mulched) and two tillage practices (no tillage and minimum tillage) arranged in a randomized complete block design with split-split plot arrangement and replicated three times. The Blaney-Criddle method was used for measuring crop evapotranspiration. The results indicated that seven-day irrigation intervals and mulched treatment were found to have significant effect (P>0.05) on grain yield and water use efficiency in all the locations. The main effect of tillage was non-significant (P<0.05) on grain yield and WUE. The interaction effects of irrigation and mulch were significant (P>0.05) on grain yield and WUE at Mubi and Yola. Generally, higher grain yield and WUE were recorded on mulched and seven-day irrigation intervals, whereas lower values were recorded on un-mulched with 12-day irrigation intervals. Tillage exerts little influence on the yield and WUE. Results from Ganye were found to be generally higher than those recorded in Mubi and Yola; it also showed that an irrigation interval of 10 days with mulching could be adopted for the Ganye area, while seven days interval is more appropriate for Mubi and Yola.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the growth of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays to project completion. Delays in delivering a construction project are a global issue and while theories such as Optimism Bias have been used to explain such delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are also significant. The objective of this paper is to develop a framework-based approach to explore how the country’s construction industry can manage and reduce delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM) in order to mitigate the cost consequences of such delays. It comprehensively and systematically reviewed the global literature on the subject and identified gaps, critical delay factors and the specific benefits that BIM can deliver for the delay management. A case study comprising of nine hospital projects that have experienced delay and cost overruns was also carried out. Five critical delay factors related to the clients were identified as candidates that can be mitigated through BIM’s benefits. These factors are: Ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. In addition, data from the case study projects strongly suggest that optimism bias is present in many of the hospital projects. Further validation via key stakeholder interviews and documentations are planned.
Minimizing the response time to asynchronous events in a real-time system is an important factor in increasing the speed of response and an interesting concept in designing equipment fast enough for the most demanding applications. The present article will present the results regarding the validation of the nMPRA (Multi Pipeline Register Architecture) architecture using the FPGA Virtex-7 circuit. The nMPRA concept is a hardware processor with the scheduler implemented at the processor level; this is done without affecting a possible bus communication, as is the case with the other CPU solutions. The implementation of static or dynamic scheduling operations in hardware and the improvement of handling interrupts and events by the real-time executive described in the present article represent a key solution for eliminating the overhead of the operating system functions. The nMPRA processor is capable of executing a preemptive scheduling, using various algorithms without a software scheduler. Therefore, we have also presented various scheduling methods and algorithms used in scheduling the real-time tasks.
In this article, the flexible job-shop scheduling problem is extended by consideration of energy costs which arise owing to the power peak, and further decision variables such as work in process and throughput time are incorporated into the objective function. This enables a production plan to be simultaneously optimized in respect of the real arising energy and logistics costs. The energy-costs-aware flexible job-shop scheduling problem (EFJSP) which arises is described mathematically, and a memetic algorithm (MA) is presented as a solution. In the MA, the evolutionary process is supplemented with a local search. Furthermore, repair procedures are used in order to rectify any infeasible solutions that have arisen in the evolutionary process. The potential for lowering the real arising costs of a production plan through consideration of energy consumption levels is highlighted.
The problem of Order Acceptance and Scheduling (OAS) is defined as a joint decision of which orders to accept for processing and how to schedule them. Any linear programming model representing real-world situation involves the parameters defined by the decision maker in an uncertain way or by means of language statement. Fuzzy data can be used to incorporate vagueness in the real-life situation. In this study, a fuzzy mathematical model is proposed for a single machine OAS problem, where the orders are defined by their fuzzy due dates, fuzzy processing times, and fuzzy sequence dependent setup times. The signed distance method, one of the fuzzy ranking methods, is used to handle the fuzzy constraints in the model.
In this paper, the design of integrated sleep scheduling for relay nodes and user equipments under a Donor eNB (DeNB) in the mode of Time Division Duplex (TDD) in LTE-A is presented. The idea of virtual time is proposed to deal with the discontinuous pattern of the available radio resource in TDD, and based on the estimation of the traffic load, three power saving schemes in the top-down strategy are presented. Associated mechanisms in each scheme including calculation of the virtual subframe capacity, the algorithm of integrated sleep scheduling, and the mapping mechanisms for the backhaul link and the access link are presented in the paper. Simulation study shows the advantage of the proposed schemes in energy saving over the standard DRX scheme.
This paper presents a genetic algorithm based permutation and non-permutation scheduling heuristics (GAPNP) to solve a multi-stage finite capacity material requirement planning (FCMRP) problem in automotive assembly flow shop with unrelated parallel machines. In the algorithm, the sequences of orders are iteratively improved by the GA characteristics, whereas the required operations are scheduled based on the presented permutation and non-permutation heuristics. Finally, a linear programming is applied to minimize the total cost. The presented GAPNP algorithm is evaluated by using real datasets from automotive companies. The required parameters for GAPNP are intently tuned to obtain a common parameter setting for all case studies. The results show that GAPNP significantly outperforms the benchmark algorithm about 30% on average.
This paper presents a low-area and fully-reconfigurable Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) hardware design for 3GPP-LTE communication standard. It can fully support 32 different FFT sizes, up to 2048 FFT points. Besides, a special processing element is developed for making reconfigurable computing characteristics possible, while first-in first-out (FIFO) scheduling scheme design technique is proposed for hardware-friendly FIFO resource arranging. In a synthesis chip realization via TSMC 40 nm CMOS technology, the hardware circuit only occupies core area of 0.2325 mm2 and dissipates 233.5 mW at maximal operating frequency of 250 MHz.
Traditionally, the three important manufacturing functions, which are process planning, scheduling and due-date assignment, are performed separately and sequentially. For couple of decades, hundreds of studies are done on integrated process planning and scheduling problems and numerous researches are performed on scheduling with due date assignment problem, but unfortunately the integration of these three important functions are not adequately addressed. Here, the integration of these three important functions is studied by using genetic, random-genetic hybrid, simulated annealing, random-simulated annealing hybrid and random search techniques. As well, the importance of the integration of these three functions and the power of meta-heuristics and of hybrid heuristics are studied.
This paper presents hierarchical operation strategies which are minimizing operation error between day ahead operation plan and real time operation. Operating power systems between centralized and decentralized approaches can be represented as hierarchical control scheme, featured as primary control, secondary control and tertiary control. Primary control is known as local control, featuring fast response. Secondary control is referred to as microgrid Energy Management System (EMS). Tertiary control is responsible of coordinating the operations of multi-microgrids. In this paper, we formulated 3 stage microgrid operation strategies which are similar to hierarchical control scheme. First stage is to set a day ahead scheduled output power of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) which is only controllable source in microgrid and it is optimized to minimize cost of exchanged power with main grid using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) method. Second stage is to control the active and reactive power of BESS to be operated in day ahead scheduled plan in case that State of Charge (SOC) error occurs between real time and scheduled plan. The third is rescheduling the system when the predicted error is over the limited value. The first stage can be compared with the secondary control in that it adjusts the active power. The second stage is comparable to the primary control in that it controls the error in local manner. The third stage is compared with the secondary control in that it manages power balancing. The proposed strategies will be applied to one of the buildings in Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute (ETRI). The building microgrid is composed of Photovoltaic (PV) generation, BESS and load and it will be interconnected with the main grid. Main purpose of that is minimizing operation cost and to be operated in scheduled plan. Simulation results support validation of proposed strategies.
Flaring emissions during abnormal operating conditions such as plant start-ups, shut-downs, and upsets in chemical process industries (CPI) are usually significant. Flare minimization can help to save raw material and energy for CPI plants, and to improve local environmental sustainability. In this paper, a systematic methodology based on plant-wide dynamic simulation is presented for CPI plant flare minimizations under abnormal operating conditions. Since off-specification emission sources are inevitable during abnormal operating conditions, to significantly reduce flaring emission in a CPI plant, they must be either recycled to the upstream process for online reuse, or stored somewhere temporarily for future reprocessing, when the CPI plant manufacturing returns to stable operation. Thus, the off-spec products could be reused instead of being flared. This can be achieved through the identification of viable design and operational strategies during normal and abnormal operations through plant-wide dynamic scheduling, simulation, and optimization. The proposed study includes three stages of simulation works: (i) developing and validating a steady-state model of a CPI plant; (ii) transiting the obtained steady-state plant model to the dynamic modeling environment; and refining and validating the plant dynamic model; and (iii) developing flare minimization strategies for abnormal operating conditions of a CPI plant via a validated plant-wide dynamic model. This cost-effective methodology has two main merits: (i) employing large-scale dynamic modeling and simulations for industrial flare minimization, which involves various unit models for modeling hundreds of CPI plant facilities; (ii) dealing with critical abnormal operating conditions of CPI plants such as plant start-up and shut-down. Two virtual case studies on flare minimizations for start-up operation (over 50% of emission savings) and shut-down operation (over 70% of emission savings) of an ethylene plant have been employed to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed study.
Wireless sensor networks can be tiny, low cost, intelligent sensors connected with advanced communication systems. WSNs have pulled in significant consideration as a matter of fact that, industrial as well as medical solicitations employ these in monitoring targets, conservational observation, obstacle exposure, movement regulator etc. In these applications, sensor hubs are thickly sent in the unattended environment with little non-rechargeable batteries. This constraint requires energy-efficient systems to drag out the system lifetime. There are redundancies in data sent over the network. To overcome this, multiple virtual spine scheduling has been presented. Such networks problems are called Maximum Lifetime Backbone Scheduling (MLBS) problems. Though this sleep wake cycle reduces radio usage, improvement can be made in the path in which the group heads stay selected. Cluster head selection with emphasis on geometrical relation of the system will enhance the load sharing among the nodes. Also the data are analyzed to reduce redundant transmission. Multi-hop communication will facilitate lighter loads on the network.
The Middle East Gulf region has witnessed rapid growth and development in many areas over the last two decades. The development of the real-estate sector, construction industry and infrastructure projects are a major share of the development that has participated in the civilization of the countries of the Gulf. Construction industry projects were planned and managed by different types of experts, who came from all over the world having different types of experiences in construction management and industry. Some of these projects were completed on time, while many were not, due to many accumulating factors. Many accumulated factors are considered as the principle reason for the problem experienced at the project construction stage, which reflected negatively on the project success. Specific causes of delay have been identified by construction managers to avoid any unexpected delays through proper analysis and considerations to some implications such as risk assessment and analysis for many potential problems to ensure that projects will be delivered on time. Construction management implications were adopted and considered by project managers who have experience and knowledge in applying the techniques of the system of engineering construction management. The aim of this research is to determine the benefits of the implications of construction management by the construction team and level of considerations of the techniques and processes during the project development and construction phases to avoid any delay in the projects. It also aims to determine the factors that participate to project completion delays in case project managers are not well committed to their roles and responsibilities. The results of the analysis will determine the necessity of the applications required by the project team to avoid the causes of delays that help them deliver projects on time, e.g. verifying tender documents, quantities and preparing the construction method of the project.
Lean thinking holds the potential for improving the construction sector, and therefore, it is a concept that should be adopted by construction sector players and academicians in the real industry. Bridging from that, a learning process for construction sector players regarding this matter should be the agenda in gaining the knowledge in preparation for their career. Lean principles offer opportunities for reducing lead times, eliminating non-value adding activities, reducing variability, and are facilitated by methods such as pull scheduling, simplified operations and buffer reduction. Thus, the drive for rapid construction, which is a systematic approach in enhancing efficiency to deliver a project using time reduction, while lean is the continuous process of eliminating waste, meeting or exceeding all customer requirements, focusing on the entire value stream and pursuing perfection in the execution of a constructed project. The methodology presented is shown to be valid through literature, interviews and questionnaire. The results show that the majority of construction sector players unfamiliar with lean thinking and they agreed that it can improve the construction process flow. With this background knowledge established and identified, best practices and recommended action are drawn.
This paper presents the development of an event based Discrete Event Simulation (DES) for a recovery algorithm known Backward Recovery Global Preemptive Utility Accrual Scheduling (BR_GPUAS). This algorithm implements the Backward Recovery (BR) mechanism as a fault recovery solution under the existing Time/Utility Function/ Utility Accrual (TUF/UA) scheduling domain for multiprocessor environment. The BR mechanism attempts to take the faulty tasks back to its initial safe state and then proceeds to re-execute the affected section of the faulty tasks to enable recovery. Considering that faults may occur in the components of any system; a fault tolerance system that can nullify the erroneous effect is necessary to be developed. Current TUF/UA scheduling algorithm uses the abortion recovery mechanism and it simply aborts the erroneous task as their fault recovery solution. None of the existing algorithm in TUF/UA scheduling domain in multiprocessor scheduling environment have considered the transient fault and implement the BR mechanism as a fault recovery mechanism to nullify the erroneous effect and solve the recovery problem in this domain. The developed BR_GPUAS simulator has derived the set of parameter, events and performance metrics according to a detailed analysis of the base model. Simulation results revealed that BR_GPUAS algorithm can saved almost 20-30% of the accumulated utilities making it reliable and efficient for the real-time application in the multiprocessor scheduling environment.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a holistic documentation process for operational visualization, design coordination, estimation and project scheduling. BIM software defines objects parametrically and it is a tool for virtual reality. Primary advantage of implementing BIM is the visual coordination of the building structure and systems such as Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) and it also identifies the possible conflicts between the building systems. This paper is an attempt to develop a risk based BIM model which would highlight the primary advantages of application of BIM pertaining to urban infrastructure transportation project. It has been observed that about 40% of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) companies use BIM but primarily for their outsourced projects. Also, 65% of the respondents agree that BIM would be used quiet strongly for future construction projects in India. The 3D models developed with Revit 2015 software would reduce co-ordination problems amongst the architects, structural engineers, contractors and building service providers (MEP). Integration of risk management along with BIM would provide enhanced co-ordination, collaboration and high probability of successful completion of the complex infrastructure transportation project within stipulated time and cost frame.