A Data-Driven Approach to Trace the Development of Lean Construction in Building Projects: Topic Shift and Main Paths

Hengqin Wu, Xue Lin, Xiao Li, Boyu Zhang, Clyde Zhengdao Li, Huabo Duan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Due to the varied ideas of lean philosophy adopted in the construction industry, it is challenging to trace the development of lean philosophy in terms of how the field evolved by adopting the lean ideas and how the topic shifted. However, it is challenging to extract useful information from the massive body of literature and to trace the development of Lean Construction in Building Projects. Previous studies have conducted longitudinal analyses of scientific areas depending on the authors’ interpretation and explanation, which is time-consuming and labor-intensive. To address this concern, this study proposes a data-driven approach integrating N-gram extraction, citation analysis, and a global key-route algorithm to trace the development. Based on the collected literature of Lean Construction in Building Projects, N-grams were extracted as topics from the raw texts of titles, abstracts, and keywords, and the shifts in topics were measured. Then, the references were extracted from the literature to create a citation network to represent the knowledge flows, and the global key-route algorithm was used to identify the most valuable flows reflecting the main paths of the development. The results illustrate how Lean Construction in Building Projects evolved and how the topics shifted, providing an exciting opportunity to reveal this development by using a data-driven approach rather than personal judgments. The findings can help us to understand that the field of Lean Construction in Building Projects was driven and motivated not only by the “lean theory”, but also by problems in the practice of building projects. Moreover, lean theory leads to flourishing research on informatization, and BIM will be an important tool to better achieve lean thinking in construction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number616
JournalBuildings
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords

  • Building Projects
  • data-driven approach
  • lean philosophy
  • main paths
  • N-gram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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