An ant colony system based decision support system for construction time-cost optimization
Time and cost are the two most important factors to be considered in every construction project. In order to maximize the profit, both the client and contractor would strive to minimize the project duration and cost concurrently. In the past, most of the research studies related to construction time and cost assumed time to be constant, leaving the analyses based purely on a single objective of cost. Acknowledging this limitation, an evolutionary-based optimization algorithm known as an ant colony system is applied in this study to solve the multi-objective time-cost optimization problems. In this paper, a model is developed using Visual Basic for Application™ which is integrated with Microsoft Project™. Through a test study, the performance of the proposed model is compared against other analytical methods previously used for time-cost modeling. The results show that the model based on the ant colony system techniques can generate better solutions without utilizing excessive computational resources. The model, therefore, provides an efficient means to support planners and managers in making better time-cost decisions efficiently.