Journal of International Information Management


In this paper, an innovative approach is presented to decision making using self-organizing multi-layered neural networks. The model helps make a decision whether to use a conventional stick-built method or to use some degree of modularization when building an industrial process plant - a problem considered very important in construction management because of its economic impact. The objective of this paper is to show that both expert system and neural network approaches can be useful for decision making problems. However, in some situations a neural network approach can outperform the expert system approach. A brief overview of prior approach to modular construction decision making is provided in this paper and the reasons for using a neural network approach are also discussed. The architecture, knowledge representation, and training procedure for the neural network paradigms used are described. The performance of the trained neural network system and its comparison with the recommendations provided by human experts and the expert system are also presented.