The latest advances in construction management are leading towards the transition from traditional activity-based to flow-based management, which imposes that a set of flows be considered to reach efficiency. In addition, planning can no longer be limited to the pre-execution phase, because the variability and contingencies that are always encountered in the execution phase ask for close monitoring and dynamic planning of construction works. These issues have been the subject of well-known research advances, among which, in this paper, online planning and Last Planner System are cited. The core of these approaches is that work progress must be regularly monitored and some decision making models must be available to site managers for them to be able to redirect the work plan during execution. However, this approach is so demanding in terms of communication, computational burden and team collaboration that automation was claimed as the right approach to make it feasible. In this paper it is suggested that holonic management systems can either perform automatic construction site management or support site managers, depending on the level of embedded intelligence. Such systems combine the potentials of hierarchical and heterarchical systems and are capable of self-organisation and multi-objective optimisation. They are designed so as to reason both at a local and global level. As a result, they are safe and do not suffer communication losses or delays. They correctly simulate real world interactions among all the agents typically involved in construction execution and management. A preliminary application for the real-time management of the execution of bored piles in a middle-sized construction site through a holonic management system is presented. Both the system architecture and a possible development platform are defined, so as to assess the potentials of this approach.
Holonic execution system for real-time construction management / Naticchia, B.; Carbonari, A.; Vaccarini, M.; Giorgi, R.. - In: AUTOMATION IN CONSTRUCTION. - ISSN 0926-5805. - STAMPA. - 104:(2019), pp. 179-196. [10.1016/j.autcon.2019.04.018]