The construction industry’s use of simulation has greatly evolved since its introduction in the mid-70s
The construction industry’s use of simulation has greatly evolved since its introduction in the mid-70s. Aside from its use in day-to-day activities, it has been shown to be a vital tool for the transfer of specialized construction management knowledge and skills to students, which would otherwise have been acquired through a lengthy, risky, and expensive learning process on the jobsite. The construction industry has experienced considerable changes and development with respect to public ; client expectations, project size, and complexity, necessitating the delivery of graduates who are already proficient in managing construction projects. The paper shows Simphony.NET along with the functionality of its various modeling elements and discusses the various aspects of simulation taught in the course. As a simulation methodology, Cyclone has been widely used in the design and analysis of construction operation for over the last 20 years. Simphony simulation in General purpose templet as the implementation computer program of Cyclone, had a great contribution in the promotion of Cyclone. Traditional construction planning, which depends on historical data and heuristic modification, prevents the integration of managerial details such as productivity dynamics. Specifically, the distance between planning and execution brings cost overruns and duration extensions. To minimize variations, this research presents Simphony simulation framework for predicting productivity dynamics at the construction planning phase. To develop this framework, we examined critical factors affecting productivity at the operational level, and then forecast the productivity dynamics. The resulting plan includes specific commands for retrieving the required information from Simphony and executing operation simulations. It consists of the following steps: (1) preparing a symphony model to produce input data; (2) composing a construction simulation at the operational level; and (3) obtaining productivity dynamics from the symphony integrated simulation. To validate our framework, we applied it to a construction of swear line beneath the route model. By using GPM with construction operation simulations, we were able to create reliable construction plans that adapted to project changes. Our results show that the developed framework facilitates the reliable prediction of productivity dynamics, and can contribute to improved schedule reliability, optimized resource allocation, cost savings associated with buffers, and reduced material waste.
Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, traditional construction planning is no longer enough for producing workable plans that incorporate all necessary project details, such as design complexities, learning curves, and the coordination process. Such traditional construction methods require construction managers to utilize data from previous projects and make heuristic adjustments to establish on-site construction plans. However, with the radical shifts now being seen, construction planning that refers to previous projects’ data cannot ensure the predicted level of productivity. Since construction projects have become more complex, managers heuristics cannot encompass all of the necessary managerial and operational details. On-site work now suffers from constant modifications and changes to project conditions. Such inadequate planning can result in delays and cost overruns stemming from on-site operational problems.
This variability between planned and actual performance results in managerial inefficiency and, ultimately, lower-quality outcomes. Such differences lead to the supply of materials not coinciding with demand on the construction site; construction managers must then wrestle with an excess or lack of materials. If the actual performance is greater than expected, materials become scarce and labor and equipment are wasted. On the other hand, if the actual performance is lower than expected, materials become excessive; construction costs then increase due to interest accrual and inventory management. Thus, reliable planning is extremely important to managerial efficiency and waste reduction. However, since construction projects are inherently dynamic and complex, the work productivity on site can vary daily, according to the type and number of mitigating factors. Productivity dynamics can proliferate such variations between planned and actual production, resulting in an exacerbation of on-site problems
Furthermore, computer simulations automate the planning process, allowing for the integration of simulation (GPM) models that contain all the information necessary for development. GPM design applications are more than just design tools; most GPM design applications also interface with other applications, cost estimations, and so on. With the increasing amount of information available and GPM’s improved process annotations, information visualization has become central to the overall construction process. In this context, integrating construction operation simulations with GPM would facilitate time and cost efficiency, and generally streamline the process.
In this regard, our research shows integrated simulation framework of GPM for predicting reliable productivity dynamics by considering the factors at the operational level. Our GPM integrated planning framework alleviates the difficulties that currently plague reliable construction planning and allows for managerial efficiency as well as technical advancement. Above all, since GPM is a digital representation of the functional and physical characteristics of a construction operation, it allows for the early incorporation of the unique characteristics into the planning process. Also, since simulation models represent the comprehensive production process, including the dynamic and complex interaction of sub-processes, our framework allows us to synthetically consider diverse factors and repeatedly run construction project in a virtual space without risk. The complete simulation performed the construction operation in a virtual world and generated accurate forecasts of productivity dynamics that were more reliable than those developed by traditional methods.
Symphony in construction:
Simphony is a simulation environment which supports a discrete event simulation paradigm. It is comprised of a simulation engine, templates, modeling features and an interface. The interface of the current version of Simphony, Simphony.NET 4.0, is shown in Figure 1. Simphony supports the development and use of different simulation templates. A simulation template is defined as a collection of abstract elements that are used in simulation modeling. Templates that comprise elements which are generic are referred to as general purpose templates, while those with elements customized for modeling a specific domain are referred to as special purpose templates. Simphony. Cyclone and Simphony. General are general purpose templates with generic, easy to use modeling elements that can be used to represent a wide spectrum of systems in the construction domain. The general-purpose template has a total of 6 categories of modeling elements and a total of 27 generic modeling elements. Each element has a unique appearance, properties and simulation behavior. When building a model, elements are dragged from the templates’ window and dropped onto the modeling surface and then linked by relationships (arrows) which provide a route for the flow of entities throughout the entire model. Relationships also enable the modeler to represent their logic as they build the model.
The special purpose templates supported by Simphony in previous versions and the current version include tunneling, steel fabrication, aggregate production, range estimating, earthmoving and PERT These special purpose templates enable practitioners to make use of their knowledge and skills in solving real problems using simulation-based approaches. This is made possible by ensuring that all modeling elements developed in each of these templates have a close resemblance with each aspect of the domain they represent.
Validation and verification simulation:
After building a simulation model, it is important to review the model layout and inputs to ensure that it is an accurate abstraction of the domain represented; a process referred to as model validation. Thereafter, verification has to be done, which involves confirming that the logic embedded within the model is compatible with the way the modeler wanted the model to behave. Simphony provides a number of features that assist modelers to verify the behavior of their models. For example, it has a counter element, charting elements, trace properties for each modeling element and a trace window. A counter is used to track the flow of entities in any part of the model and also provides insight into time to time entities last flowed through a specific part of a model. The trace features allow a modeler to display simulation results or events in text format, as the model runs. Charting elements allow for the visualization of data generated from the simulation.
Iconic visualization is another feature that is very useful for verifying models in simulation. Although the current general template does not have features for visualizing events as they unfold during simulation, some special purpose templates such as an earthmoving template support iconic visualization of trucks flowing through a model. There are also a number of integrity checks which Simphony performs before a model is run. These checks serve as warnings to modelers of any problems in logic that may exist in their models. The process of validation and verification is a very important phase in simulation modeling to guarantee accurate results. However, this process takes a lot of time and it is challenging