UBC Theses and Dissertations
Visualization of construction data Korde, Tanaya
Measuring and assessing construction project performance forms an integral part of management's control function. Construction projects are often associated with voluminous and unstructured data sets. Visualization techniques hold significant potential to cope with large datasets by presenting subsets of the data in a number of forms that provide valuable insights for management personnel. A central theme of the thesis is that data visualization can provide a means of associating data from various dimensions of a project to aid decisionmaking and help explain reasons for performance to date. An important objective of the thesis research is to develop data visualization images that are particularly helpful to management personnel, and which could eventually be incorporated into project management systems. Underlying visual formats, are different causal or explanatory models that link performances to the properties of one or more project parameters. Thus, to formulate visual formats that can assist in explaining project performance, it is essential to identify the underlying causal model/hypothesis explaining this performance. Hence two detailed literature reviews were carried out (i) studying the current state-of-the-art of research on prediction and explanation of construction project performance (ii) identifying current state-of-the-art visualization techniques. Visualization strategies were mainly explored in the context of change order management ) during the construction phase. An initial exploratory study of different visual formats was carried out for a partial change order dataset from a previous project. This work was then extended on to a more extensive dataset for an on-going project. One aim of the work is to provide the end-users an ability to assess the impact of collection of items or of their occurrence pattern on project performance as opposed to dealing with individual items. We therefore created images illustrating clustering of data items (extra work orders in this case) by different attributes like location, turnaround times, trades involved etc. Although these images are developed for specific scenarios they can be readily adapted to the exploration of other management functions and project data types. The usefulness of the images was verified through interaction with site and senior management personnel of the cooperating construction firm.
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