To incorporate GIS features into BAL, a commercial GIS software, Microsoft MapPoint 2002, has been integrated into BAL through visual basic code. The GIS program was utilized to store
Fig. 4. Main input screen with general data.
sitespeciflc information, which lends itself well to mapping representation, to facilitate speedy and informed decisions for M&R programs. Site-specific pre-planning information includes location, local weather, land survey data, traffic volume, etc. Using this information, the GIS system automatically calculates the distances from one site to any other, considering the shortest travel routes. Once the distances are calculated, the GIS system then calculates the travel time from each site to any other, considering the speed limits specified for the highways or local roads along a route. These are then directly used to determine the time and cost to transport resources from one site to the other.
During the planning stage, BAL’s scheduling engine stores the site-specific data of work quantities, available resources, construction methods, and the time/cost/other constraints. Using this information, the scheduling engine of BAL runs the Genetic Algorithm (GA) procedure and experiments with thousands of random solutions until an optimum is reached. For each random solution, the GA selects the number of crews to use, the site order, and a set of construction methods. In this process, the GIS system feeds the associated distances, moving time, and moving cost, to the scheduling engine. At the end of the GA procedure, an optimum work schedule is determined that respects the time, cost, and resource constraints. Afterwards, another layer of GIS information is generated; containing activities’ start and finish dates at the various sites along with the assigned crews. This
Fig. 5. Initial schedule.
layer of information is then used by a macro written on the GIS system to present the schedule and crew assignments legibly to all project participants.