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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 84
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero and R. Montenegro
Paper 67

Cross-Organization Process Re-Engineering for a Design-Build Project Team Using a Multi-Agent System

M.Y. Cheng and M.H. Tsai

Department of Construction Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science & Technology, Taipei, Taiwan

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
M.Y. Cheng, M.H. Tsai, "Cross-Organization Process Re-Engineering for a Design-Build Project Team Using a Multi-Agent System", in B.H.V. Topping, G. Montero, R. Montenegro, (Editors), "Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Engineering Computational Technology", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 67, 2006. doi:10.4203/ccp.84.67
Keywords: design-build delivery method, business process reengineering, multi-agent system, fast-tracking construction.

To increase the cooperation efficiency for the design-build process in a design-build project team, this study focuses on re-engineering and cooperating in the business processes across organizations of the designer and general constructor. The processes identified are composed of cooperating workflows executed in different organizations. Applying the business process reengineering (BPR) philosophy, this research redesigned the fast-tracking processes of the designer and the general constractor (GC) and developed the design-build multi-agent system (DBMAS) to cooperate in design and construction management processes.

The cross-organization process re-engineering model is composed of the semantic similarity analysis applied to determine the input or output data similarities and the activity or process similarities between the designer's and the GC's process model. According to the process similarities, two processes with a high similarity respectively executed by the designer and the GC can be merged; or the cooperation linkages within the designer's and the GC's processes can be determined. Therefore, not only the proper design-build process model, but also the cooperative view of the cross-organization processes is identified. Based on the model developed, the DBMAS with tasks of information sharing and exchange is developed to assist in the execution of the cooperation model.

The DBMAS is especially adequate for the solution of problems of a dynamic, uncertain and distributed nature. It is developed as a distributed system for cooperation between the designer's and GC's processes. The agents interact in a heterogeneous environment relying on semantic messages for exchanging plans and service definition. Meanwhile, the agents can also undertake task assignments to start a process or fulfill activities based on event triggers, and interact with each other through message transferring.

Combining the Microsoft BizTalk Framework with the multi-agent system philosophy, the DBMAS architecture is developed. In the DBMS, the processes can be executed and controlled according to XLANG schedules and be collaborate by the software agents.

The design-build process cooperation framework including the re-engineered cross-organization processes model and the multi-agent system was identified and developed to assist the design-build team to executed the design-build project efficiently.

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