A web-based collaborative decision making system for construction project teams using fuzzy logic
In the construction industry, the adoption of concurrent engineering principles requires the development of effective enabling IT tools. Such tools need to address specific areas of need in the implementation of concurrent engineering in construction. Collaborative decision-making is an important area in this regard. A review of existing works has shown that none of the existing approaches to collaborative decision-making adequately addresses the needs of distributed construction project teams. The review also reveals that fuzzy logic offers great potential for application to collaborative decision-making. This thesis describes a Web-based collaborative decision-making system for construction project teams using fuzzy logic. Fuzzy logic is applied to tackle uncertainties and imprecision during the decision-making process. The prototype system is designed as Web-based to cope with the difficulty in the case where project team members are geographically distributed and physical meetings are inconvenient/or expensive. The prototype was developed into a Web-based software using Java and allows a virtual meeting to be held within a construction project team via a client-server system. The prototype system also supports objectivity in group decision-making and the approach encapsulated in the prototype system can be used for generic decision-making scenarios. The system implementation revealed that collaborative decision-making within a virtual construction project team can be significantly enhanced by the use of a fuzzybased approach. A generic scenario and a construction scenario were used to evaluate the system and the evaluation confirmed that the system does proffer many benefits in facilitating collaborative decision-making in construction. It is concluded that the prototype decision-making system represents a unique and innovative approach to collaborative decision-making in construction project teams. It not only contributes to the implementation of concurrent engineering in construction, but also it represents a substantial advance over existing approaches.