Robust Construction Scheduling – Methods for Incorporating Uncertainties into the Generation and Assessment of Construction Schedules

A construction schedule represents sequences and durations of all processes necessary to realize a construction project. Technical and practical boundary conditions must be considered when defining the sequence of processes. Usually, the final construction schedule is obtained by optimizing total time and costs of the project, where all data used to set up construction schedules is considered deterministic. The fact that most data, e.g. the duration of processes, is based on assumptions only, is neglected. Therefore, during the construction phase of a project, deviations from the assumptions made in the planning phase occur and the initial schedule must be adapted to the new situation. As a consequence, quite often the planned total time and costs, the initial schedule had been optimized for, are not met. More reliable construction schedules can only be created by considering the uncertainties immanent in the input data. The goal of this project is to set up robust schedules. Robustness, in this context, means that a previously defined quality of the schedule, e.g. the total time, is insensitive against changes in the input data. In the domain of production and processor scheduling, different methods have already been developed to optimize a schedule concerning its robustness. Such methods, however, are not directly transferable to construction projects in civil engineering, because boundary conditions of construction schedules are different from those of production and processor schedules. It is thus the objective of this project to develop methods for assessing and improving the robustness of construction schedules specifically in civil engineering.

Project type
Thüringer Graduiertenförderung, a program of the Free State of Thuringia, Germany, supporting graduate students

2014 - 2016

Project-related publications (selection)

  • Hartmann, V., Smarsly, K. & Lahmer, T., 2017. Project scheduling under uncertainty and resource constraints. Proceedings in Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, 17(1) (submitted).
  • Hartmann, V., Lahmer, T. & Smarsly, K., 2015. Assessment and optimization of the robustness of construction schedules. In: Proceedings of the 22nd EG-ICE Workshop 2015. Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 07/13/2015.

Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly
Bauhaus University Weimar
Computing in Civil Engineering
Coudraystraße 7, Room 517
99423 Weimar
Email: kay.smarsly[at] 

Veronika Hartmann
Bauhaus University Weimar
Computing in Civil Engineering
Coudraystraße 7, Room 514
99423 Weimar
Email: veronika.hartmann[at]