Fuzzy discrete-event simulation for modeling uncertain activity duration

Hong Zhang, Heng Li, C. M. Tam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Construction-oriented discrete-event simulation often faces the problem of defining uncertain information input, such as subjectivity in selecting probability distributions that result from insufficient or lack of site productivity data. This paper proposes incorporation of fuzzy set theory with discrete-event simulation to handle the vagueness, imprecision and subjectivity in the estimation of activity duration, especially when insufficient or no sample data are available. Based upon an improved activity scanning simulation algorithm, a fuzzy distance ranking measure is adopted in fuzzy simulation time advancement and event selection for simulation experimentation. The uses of the fuzzy activity duration and the probability distribution-modeled duration are compared through a series of simulation experiments. It is observed that the fuzzy simulation outputs are arrived at through only one cycle of fuzzy discrete-event simulation, still they contain all the statistical information that are produced through multiple cycles of simulation experiments when the probability distribution approach is adopted.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-437
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2004


  • Construction industry
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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