A novel multi criteria decision making model for optimizing time-cost-quality trade-off problems in construction projects

Shahryar Monghasemi*, Mohammad Reza Nikoo, Mohammad Ali Khaksar Fasaee, Jan Adamowski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


The planning phase of every construction project is entangled with multiple and occasionally conflicting criteria which need to be optimized simultaneously. Multi-criterion decision-making (MCDM) approaches can aid decision-makers in selecting the most appropriate solution among numerous potential Pareto optimal solutions. An evidential reasoning (ER) approach was applied for the first time in the context of project scheduling to identify the best Pareto solution for discrete time-cost-quality trade-off problems (DTCQTPs). An exhaustive framework to synthesize the MCDM approaches with multi-objective optimization techniques was also proposed. To identify all global Pareto optimal solutions, a multi-objective genetic algorithm (MOGA) incorporating the NSGA-II procedure was developed and tested in a highway construction project case study. The Shannon's entropy technique served to determine the relative weights of the objectives according to their contributions to the uncertainty of the results obtained. A benchmark case study of DTCQTP was solved using the proposed methodology, and the Pareto optimal solutions obtained were subsequently ranked using the ER approach. By investigating the performance of each scheduling alternative based on multiple criteria (e.g., time, cost, and quality), the proposed approach proved effective in raising the efficiently of construction project scheduling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3089-3104
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2015


  • Construction projects
  • Discrete time-cost-quality trade-off
  • Evidential reasoning
  • Multi-criterion decision-making
  • Multi-objective optimization
  • Shannon's entropy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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