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PROCEEDINGS OF THE ELEVENTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL, STRUCTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Multiple-User Support System using a Synthetic Environment
M. Al-Bataineh and S.M. Abourizk
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
M. Al-Bataineh, S.M. Abourizk, "Multiple-User Support System using a Synthetic Environment", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 69, 2007. doi:10.4203/ccp.86.69
Keywords: simulation, high level architecture, project planning, multi-user, synthetic environment.
Project planning, one of the most crucial steps in construction operations, defines the objective of the project, sets the goals, and determines how they will be achieved. During the planning phase, specific activities should be defined, the schedule created, and the cost calculated. According to the Project Management Institute, the discipline of project management can be defined as "the art of directing and coordinating human and material resources throughout the life of a project by using modern management techniques to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, cost, time, quality, and participation satisfaction."
Simulation has been used for many years as a planning tool during the preconstruction planning phase. In this phase, several alternatives are proposed for a specific project. A simulation model is then created for each alternative, and an evaluative comparison between these models helps to determine the best choice. During construction, simulation can also help to predict the completion date and expected cost of the project. Unfortunately, current simulation techniques are only effective when the models can be limited in scope and are not set in a collaborative environment. This inherited deficiency arises from original construction simulation frameworks that were meant to tackle processes and operations rather than integrate projects with multi-user environments. These shortcomings limit our ability to study the simulated projects at greater depth. Furthermore, current simulation environments fail when the interactions involve different models. This paper discusses a proposed system for the development of a multi-user decision support framework to improve the planning phase of construction. The framework is designed to house a collaborative environment in construction and will be informed by the synthetic environment method based on high level architecture (HLA).
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