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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Visualization of construction management data Chiu, Chao-Ying


To date, the research and development effort as reported in the literature for presenting input/output data in support of human judgment for conducting construction management (CM) functions and associated tasks has been relatively limited. In practice, CM practitioners often find it difficult to digest and interpret input/output information because of the sheer volume and high dimensionality of data. One way to address this need is to improve the data reporting capability of a construction management information system, which traditionally focuses mainly on using tabular/textual reports. Data visualization is a promising technology to enhance current reporting by creating a CM data visualization environment integrated within a CM information system. Findings from a literature review combined with a deep understanding of the CM domain were used to identify design guidelines for CM data visualization. A top-down design approach was utilized to analyze general requirements of a CM data visualization environment (e.g. common visualization features) that effect visual CM analytics for a broad range of CM functions/tasks. A bottom-up design process integrated with design guidelines and the top-down design process was then employed to implement individual visualizations in support of specific CM analytics and to acquire lessons learned for enriching the design guidelines and common visualization features. Taken together, these three components provide a potent approach for developing a data visualization tool tailored to supporting CM analytics. A research prototype CM data visualization environment that has an organization of thematic visualizations categorized by construction conditions and performance measures under multiple views of a project was created. Features of images generated from the foregoing visualizations can be characterized by different themes, types, contents, and/or formats. The visualization environment provides interaction features for changing/setting options that characterize images and enhancing readability of images as well as a mechanism for coordinating interaction features to increase efficiency of use. Case studies conducted using this environment provide the means for comparing its use with current (traditional) data reporting for CM functions related to time, quality, and change management. It is demonstrated that visual analytics enhances CM analytics capabilities applicable to a broad range of CM functions/tasks.

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