Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, vol.149, no.7, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
As construction projects become more complex and challenging to execute, project managers need to develop work schedules that consider as many objectives as are critical to project success. A work schedule designed to optimize all these objectives is likely to enhance project performance. However, achieving a balance among these objectives is difficult because they frequently conflict with each other. Many optimization models have been developed over the years that can factor in different objectives. Although previous optimization studies have contributed to the body of knowledge by individually adding one or two objectives to the classical time-cost trade-off (TCT) problem, none of these studies simultaneously optimized more than three or four objectives at a time. Clearly, there is a need for a multiobjective optimization model to generate work schedules that increase the likelihood of achieving as many project objectives as necessary. This study was motivated by the need to fill this research gap. The objective of this study was to develop a mathematical multiobjective optimization model for the time-cost-quality-schedule flexibility-resource fluctuation trade-off problem in small-scale construction projects. The proposed model is novel because it (1) considers five important objectives of construction project scheduling at the same time, (2) quantifies all objectives to provide an accurate reflection of construction site conditions, and (3) objectively determines the optimal compromise solution using a distance-based method rather than subjectively from a set of Pareto-optimal solutions. The applicability of the proposed model is demonstrated with an illustrative example. The key results of this study are as follows: (1) the optimal solution obtained depends on the project manager's priorities relative to the objectives; and (2) in optimization problems with more than two objectives, considering the objectives one at a time may result in misleading solutions, because the effects of the other objectives are ignored in this optimization. Consequently, multiple objectives must be considered simultaneously rather than one at a time. The proposed model is expected to provide project managers with a work schedule that balances five or more objectives, increasing the chances of successful project performance.