Application of Evidence Theory to Construction Projects

By Desmond Adair and Martin Jaeger.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 4, 2014 $US5.00

Crucial decisions are necessary throughout the life-cycle of large-scale construction projects. Such decisions are critical in that they have a direct impact upon the outcomes and success of a given project. To improve the decision process, an evidential reasoning framework based on the Dezert-Smarandache theory of plausible and paradoxical reasoning, where heterogeneous evidence sources are fused together, is described and used here. Though they usually contain various levels of uncertainty, imprecision, and conflicts, the sources provide beliefs for decision making; usually the combination of these sources of evidence, with different reliabilities, is done by the classical Shafer’s discounting approach. This means that when considering unequal importance of sources, if any, a similar reliability discounting process is generally used, making no difference between the notion of importance and reliability. In multicriteria decision making, however, these notions should be clearly distinguished. This paper is to analyse the impact of source reliability and importance (priority) upon the decision making process. A reliability discounting technique and an importance discounting technique are applied.

Keywords: Evidential Reasoning, Dezert-Smarandache Theory, Dempster-Shafer Theory, Discounting Techniques, Risk Assessment

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 4, Issue 4, October 2014, pp.25-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 579.564KB)).

Prof. Desmond Adair

Professor, School of Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Dr. Martin Jaeger

Professor, School of Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia