Journal of Information Technology in Construction

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Title An ontology-driven building construction labour cost estimation in Cameroon
Author F. H. Abanda, J.H.M. Tah, C. Pettang, M. B. Manjia
Abstract Building construction is a very important development activity of any country. In addition to its basic role of providing shelter, the sub-sector contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product of both developing and developed countries, and plays an equally important role in the creation of employment. Unfortunately, the way building projects are managed in developing countries has often led to the under- or non-exploitation of the potential of these projects. Many factors, including inaccurate estimation techniques, poor and the challenge in predicting building construction labour cost, contribute to the poor management of building construction projects. Thus labour costing has become a key parameter for use in building construction projects. This article aims to investigate the use of an ontology-based technology in modelling information about labour costs in order to facilitate decision-making among building developers. This is achieved by pursuing two objectives. Firstly, a domain ontology that captures knowledge about labour costing practices in developing countries in general and Cameroon in particular is developed. Secondly, an ontology rule-based application is developed to facilitate decision-making and computation of labour cost in building construction projects. Three exemplary case scenarios are presented to illustrate how a construction decision-maker can intuitively query the labour cost ontology and navigate the results.
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Keywords Decision-making, building construction, ontology, labour cost
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