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Distributed coordination of project schedule changes using agent-based compensatory negotiation methodology



In the construction industry, projects are becoming increasingly large and complex, necessitating multiple subcontractors. Traditional centralized coordination techniques used by general contractors become insufficient as subcontractors perform most work and provide their own resources. When subcontractors cannot provide enough resources, they hinder their own performance, that of other subcontractors, and ultimately the entire project. Thus, projects need a new distributed coordination approach wherein all of the concerned subcontractors can respond to changes and reschedule a project dynamically. This paper presents a new distributed coordination framework for project schedule changes (DCPSC) that is based on an agent-based negotiation approach wherein software agents evaluate the impact of changes, simulate decisions, and give advice on behalf of the human subcontractors. A case example demonstrates the significance of the DCPSC. It compares two centralized coordination methodologies used in current practice to the DCPSC framework. We demonstrate that our DCPSC framework always finds a solution that is better than or equal to any of two centralized coordination methodologies.


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Reprint requests to: Keesoo Kim, Daewoo Institute of Construction Technology, Daewoo E&C Co., Ltd., Kyonggi, 440-210, Korea. E-mail:


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