Dynamic planning of earthmoving projects using system dynamics

Hani Alzraiee, Osama Moselhi, Tarek Zayed

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a dynamic planning model for earth moving operations through capturing the operations context level (scope change, skill level, etc.). Method: Uncertainties, scope, and changes in project condition call for dynamic modeling of earthmoving operations. Static planning and scheduling methods such as CPM and PERT neglect - and are incapable of - considering project dynamics and causal-effect loops that exist between project variables. In an effort to address this challenge, system dynamic modeling and simulation is utilized in this research to plan and simulate earth moving operations. The developed model consists of three modules: (i) a work flow module that focuses on work execution from excavating the material until dumping it as demonstrated in; (ii) a resource module that captures the resources' interactions and estimates the required resources based on the variables governing the site condition and management requirement; and (iii) a cost module that estimates associated costs with project's operations. Results & Discussion: The model was tested using a real case from Marzouk and Moselhi. The model outputs demonstrate that including the project context variables and their cause-effect loops to the planning stage of this category of projects improves the planning process. The developed system dynamic model is expected to enhance project modelling; capturing the interactivity among its variables to provide more realistic modelling for its schedule and cost. It also can assist members of project teams to predict a variety of likely scenarios and develop suitable action plans.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event29th International Symposium of Automation and Robotics in Construction, ISARC 2012 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 26 Jun 201229 Jun 2012


Conference29th International Symposium of Automation and Robotics in Construction, ISARC 2012


  • Earthmoving planning
  • Simulation
  • System dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Modelling and Simulation


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