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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 12
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
Paper I.5

A Decision Support System for Drainage Cost Estimating

J.H.M. Tah, A. Thorpe and R. McCaffer

Department of Civil Engineering, Loughborough University of Technology, Loughborough, Leicestershire, England

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
J.H.M. Tah, A. Thorpe, R. McCaffer, "A Decision Support System for Drainage Cost Estimating", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Artificial Intelligence and Civil Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 29-35, 1991. doi:10.4203/ccp.12.1.5
Existing computer-aided estimating systems do not allow any form of system decision making in the selection of resources to suit different work packages and methods. These systems draw considerably on the users judgement and experience of the construction process. This work aims at investigating the extent to which system decision making can be incorporated into computer assisted estimating systems using the knowledge-based systems approach. Drainage cost estimating is choosen as the problem domain. This paper describes drainage estimating knowledge in terms of the operations involved, the decisions made, and the relevant computations. The development of a knowledge-based application, DRAINEST, for drainage estimating is discussed in terms of the tools selected, the representation of knowledge, and the implementation and testing of the application. The system, acting in an advisory role, provides the necessary assistance in producing accurate cost estimates. In doing this, it allows automated decision making in selecting resources to match different work loads and conditions. It is concluded that knowledge based systems will have an increasingly important role to play in integrated construction management systems.

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