Helping Canada’s Construction Industry to Compete
Canada’s construction sector is a major driver of economic growth. It generates more than seven per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and employs 1.4 million people. As the industry grows in size and complexity, so do the factors that must be considered when making decisions about how to spend money, allocate time and manage resources.
People spend valuable time working through lengthy decision-making procedures—and often, the expertise needed to make decisions goes undocumented and can be lost when staff move on and projects change.
As Canada Research Chair in Fuzzy Hybrid Decision Support Systems for Construction, Dr. Aminah Robinson Fayek is harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to capture expert construction knowledge. (Fuzzy logic is an AI technique that represents expert knowledge and subjective reasoning mathematically.) This knowledge, in turn, can be used to increase decision-making accuracy and efficiency. Essentially, Fayek and her research team are developing new ways to represent human decision-making in planning, executing and controlling construction projects.
Fayek and her team are combining fuzzy logic with other AI, machine learning and simulation techniques to create fuzzy hybrid techniques to enhance decision-making processes. The result will be decision support systems and software tools that improve the performance of Canada’s construction sector. This, in turn, will boost the innovation, efficiency and competitiveness of Canada’s building, industrial and civil infrastructure sectors. Ultimately, it will also increase the sector’s contribution to Canada’s economy.