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Abstract

A proper allocation of limited resources (men, machines, materials, and money) is critical in a construction project. Traditionally, resource allocation problems have been solved using methods in operations research (OR), such as mathematical programming. In recent years, genetic algorithms (GA) have emerged as an effective optimization methodology. One major advantage of the GA approach over the OR approach is that the GA approach is universal for various types of optimization problems, unlike the OR approach which varies depending on the types of problems at hand. This paper shows an application of GA to a resource allocation problem in the construction industry in which a contractor tries to maximize profit by properly allocating various pieces of heavy equipment to various ongoing construction projects. This type of problem has customarily been solved by the linear programming method. GA has proved to be quite an attractive alternate to the OR method. Since the GA method is more universal than the OR method, the program can be easily modified to solve other types of problems. A description of a computer program written in Visual Basic is also presented.

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