Probabilistic Time Scheduling

by Keith C. Crandall, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 3, Pg. 415-423

Document Type: Journal Paper


Monte-Carlo simulation provides a project manager with realistic projections of project time duration. The Critical Path Method and other deterministic scheduling techniques tend to yield optimistic projections of project completion. The major cause of these optimistic completion values is a bias resulting from the exclusion during analysis of other potentially critical paths. The proposed methods remove this bias and present the decision maker with information relating to the probable distribution that represents the variability in completion time, and in addition the criticality of each activity in the schedule. A methodology is outlined to eliminate the expense normally incurred with Monte-Carlo types of simulation; the result is a procedure that is both economical and unbiased in the presentation of information to the decision maker. The procedure can be utilized with cost and resource applications in addition to the time evaluation indicated in the paper.

Subject Headings: Critical path method | Probability | Scheduling | Monte Carlo method | Decision making | Managers | Optimization models | Economic factors

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