Software Agents to Suport Decision Making in Design and Execution Planning

Hagen Engelmann1, Fritz Gehbauer2 & Peter Steffek3

1Research Assistant, Institute for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB), University of Karlsruhe, Am Fasanengarten, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, engelmann@tmb.uni-karlsruhe.de
2Professor, Director of the Institute for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB), University of Karlsruhe, Am Fasanengarten, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, gehbauer@tmb.unikarlsruhe. de
3Research Assistant, Institute for Technology and Management in Construction (TMB), University of Karlsruhe, Am Fasanengarten, D-76128 Karlsruhe, Germany, steffek@tmb.uni-karlsruhe.de

Abstract

One of the particular advantages of the Last Planner System is to bring downstream players, for example construction firms, into upstream design and planning phases in order to make optimal use of all available knowledge. This procedure is actually hindered in many countries by the existing governmental contracting rules. To overcome this problem and to be able to include downstream knowledge in earlier phases of the project a solution based on software agents is proposed. The objective is to devise the software architecture for a decision support system incorporating the Last Planner System as communication platform. As the software agents shall act for persons not available during a Last Planner session they must be integrated in the collaborative process. The paper discusses a concept for this problem based on a Multi-Agent System (MAS) modelling the communication process, and a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to provide different functionalities needed. The concept provides a corner stone for a computer-based simulation of the knowledge of actors who are not available in phases of the Last Planner process.

Keywords

last planner system, design and execution planning, decision support, multi-agent system, service-oriented architecture

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Reference

Engelmann, H. , Gehbauer, F. & Steffek, P. 2008, 'Software Agents to Suport Decision Making in Design and Execution Planning' In:, Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M., 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Manchester, UK, 16-18 Jul 2008. pp 783-794

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