Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Winston M. W. Shakantu

7 Strategic Maintenance Management of Built Facilities in an Organisation

Authors: Anita D. Adamu, Winston M. W. Shakantu

Abstract:

Maintenance management is no longer a stand-alone activity. It has now assumed a strategic position in many organisations that have recognised its importance in achieving primary goals and a key aspect of effective management of facilities. This paper aims at providing an understanding of the role and function of strategic management in creating and sustaining an effective maintenance management system in an organisation. The background provides an articulated concept and principles of strategic management. The theoretical concepts paved way for a conceptual framework for which strategic management can be integrated into the maintenance management system of an organisation to improve effectiveness in the maintenance of facilities.

Keywords: Facilities, maintenance management, organisations, strategic management.

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6 A Conceptual Framework and a Mathematical Equation for Managing Construction-Material Waste and Cost Overruns

Authors: Saidu Ibrahim, Winston M. W. Shakantu

Abstract:

The problem of construction material waste remains unresolved, as a significant percentage of the materials delivered to some project sites end up as waste which might result in additional project cost. Cost overrun is a problem which affects 90% of the completed projects in the world. The argument on how to eliminate it has been on-going for the past 70 years, but there is neither substantial improvement nor significant solution for mitigating its detrimental effects. Research evidence has proposed various construction cost overruns and material-waste management approaches; nonetheless, these studies failed to give a clear indication on the framework and the equation for managing construction material waste and cost overruns. Hence, this research aims to develop a conceptual framework and a mathematical equation for managing material waste and cost overrun in the construction industry. The paper adopts the desktop methodological approach. This involves comparing the causes of material waste and those of cost overruns from the literature to determine the possible relationship. The review revealed a relationship between material waste and cost overrun that; increase in material waste would result to a corresponding increase in the amount of cost overrun at both the pre-contract and the post contract stages of a project. It was found from the equation that achieving an effective construction material waste management must ensure a “Good Quality-of-Planning, Estimating, and Design Management” and a “Good Quality- of-Construction, Procurement and Site Management”; a decrease in “Design Complexity” which would reduce “Material Waste” and subsequently reduce the amount of cost overrun by 86.74%. The conceptual framework and the mathematical equation developed in this study are recommended to the professionals of the construction industry.

Keywords: Conceptual framework, cost overrun, material waste, project stags.

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5 Basic Business-Forces behind the Surviving and Sustainable Organizations: The Case of Medium Scale Contractors in South Africa

Authors: Iruka C. Anugwo, Winston M. Shakantu

Abstract:

The objective of this study is to uncover the basic business-forces that necessitated the survival and sustainable performance of the medium scale contractors in the South African construction market. This study is essential as it set to contribute towards long-term strategic solutions for combating the incessant failure of start-ups construction organizations within South African. The study used a qualitative research methodology; as the most appropriate approach to elicit and understand, and uncover the phenomena that are basic business-forces for the active contractors in the market. The study also adopted a phenomenological study approach; and in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 medium scale contractors in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, between months of August to October 2015. This allowed for an in-depth understanding of the critical and basic business-forces that influenced their survival and performance beyond the first five years of business operation. Findings of the study showed that for potential contractors (startups), to survival in the competitive business environment such as construction industry, they must possess the basic business-forces. These forces are educational knowledge in construction and business management related disciplines, adequate industrial experiences, competencies and capabilities to delivery excellent services and products as well as embracing the spirit of entrepreneurship. Convincingly, it can be concluded that the strategic approach to minimize the endless failure of startups construction businesses; the potential construction contractors must endeavoring to access and acquire the basic educationally knowledge, training and qualification; need to acquire industrial experiences in collaboration with required competencies, capabilities and entrepreneurship acumen. Without these basic business-forces as been discovered in this study, the majority of the contractors gaining entrance in the market will find it difficult to develop and grow a competitive and sustainable construction organization in South Africa.

Keywords: Basic business-forces, medium scale contractors, South Africa, sustainable organisations.

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4 Evolutionary Approach for Automated Discovery of Censored Production Rules

Authors: Kamal K. Bharadwaj, Basheer M. Al-Maqaleh

Abstract:

In the recent past, there has been an increasing interest in applying evolutionary methods to Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD) and a number of successful applications of Genetic Algorithms (GA) and Genetic Programming (GP) to KDD have been demonstrated. The most predominant representation of the discovered knowledge is the standard Production Rules (PRs) in the form If P Then D. The PRs, however, are unable to handle exceptions and do not exhibit variable precision. The Censored Production Rules (CPRs), an extension of PRs, were proposed by Michalski & Winston that exhibit variable precision and supports an efficient mechanism for handling exceptions. A CPR is an augmented production rule of the form: If P Then D Unless C, where C (Censor) is an exception to the rule. Such rules are employed in situations, in which the conditional statement 'If P Then D' holds frequently and the assertion C holds rarely. By using a rule of this type we are free to ignore the exception conditions, when the resources needed to establish its presence are tight or there is simply no information available as to whether it holds or not. Thus, the 'If P Then D' part of the CPR expresses important information, while the Unless C part acts only as a switch and changes the polarity of D to ~D. This paper presents a classification algorithm based on evolutionary approach that discovers comprehensible rules with exceptions in the form of CPRs. The proposed approach has flexible chromosome encoding, where each chromosome corresponds to a CPR. Appropriate genetic operators are suggested and a fitness function is proposed that incorporates the basic constraints on CPRs. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate the performance of the proposed algorithm.

Keywords: Censored Production Rule, Data Mining, MachineLearning, Evolutionary Algorithms.

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3 An Analytical Study on the Politics of Defection in India

Authors: Diya Sarkar, Prafulla C. Mishra

Abstract:

In a parliamentary system, party discipline is the impulse; when it falls short, the government usually falls. Conceivably, the platform of Indian politics suffers with innumerous practical disorders. The politics of defection is one such specie entailing gross miscarriage of fair conduct turning politics into a game of thrones (powers). This practice of political nomaditude can trace its seed in the womb of British House of Commons. Therein, if a legislator was found to cross the floor, the party considered him disloyal. In other words, the legislator lost his allegiance to his former party by joining another party. This very phenomenon, in practice has a two way traffic i.e. ruling party to the opposition party or vice versa. The democracies like USA, Australia and Canada were also aware of this fashion of swapping loyalties. There have been several instances of great politicians changing party allegiance, for example Winston Churchill, Ramsay McDonald, William Gladstone etc. Nevertheless, it is interesting to cite that irrespective of such practice of changing party allegiance, none of the democracies in the west ever desired or felt the need to legislatively ban defections. But, exceptionally India can be traced to have passed anti-defection laws. The politics of defection had been a unique popular phenomenon on the floor of Indian Parliamentary system gradually gulping the democratic essence and synchronization of the Federation. This study is both analytical and doctrinal, which tries to examine whether representative democracy has lost its essence due to political nomadism. The present study also analyzes the classical as well as contemporary pulse of floor crossing amidst dynastic politics in a representative democracy. It will briefly discuss the panorama of defections under the Indian federal structure in the light of the anti-defection law and an attempt has been made to add valuable suggestions to streamline remedy for the still prevalent political defections.

Keywords: Constitutional law, defection, democracy, political anti-trust.

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2 A Cumulative Learning Approach to Data Mining Employing Censored Production Rules (CPRs)

Authors: Rekha Kandwal, Kamal K.Bharadwaj

Abstract:

Knowledge is indispensable but voluminous knowledge becomes a bottleneck for efficient processing. A great challenge for data mining activity is the generation of large number of potential rules as a result of mining process. In fact sometimes result size is comparable to the original data. Traditional data mining pruning activities such as support do not sufficiently reduce the huge rule space. Moreover, many practical applications are characterized by continual change of data and knowledge, thereby making knowledge voluminous with each change. The most predominant representation of the discovered knowledge is the standard Production Rules (PRs) in the form If P Then D. Michalski & Winston proposed Censored Production Rules (CPRs), as an extension of production rules, that exhibit variable precision and supports an efficient mechanism for handling exceptions. A CPR is an augmented production rule of the form: If P Then D Unless C, where C (Censor) is an exception to the rule. Such rules are employed in situations in which the conditional statement 'If P Then D' holds frequently and the assertion C holds rarely. By using a rule of this type we are free to ignore the exception conditions, when the resources needed to establish its presence, are tight or there is simply no information available as to whether it holds or not. Thus the 'If P Then D' part of the CPR expresses important information while the Unless C part acts only as a switch changes the polarity of D to ~D. In this paper a scheme based on Dempster-Shafer Theory (DST) interpretation of a CPR is suggested for discovering CPRs from the discovered flat PRs. The discovery of CPRs from flat rules would result in considerable reduction of the already discovered rules. The proposed scheme incrementally incorporates new knowledge and also reduces the size of knowledge base considerably with each episode. Examples are given to demonstrate the behaviour of the proposed scheme. The suggested cumulative learning scheme would be useful in mining data streams.

Keywords: Censored production rules, cumulative learning, data mining, machine learning.

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1 Learning Classifier Systems Approach for Automated Discovery of Censored Production Rules

Authors: Suraiya Jabin, Kamal K. Bharadwaj

Abstract:

In the recent past Learning Classifier Systems have been successfully used for data mining. Learning Classifier System (LCS) is basically a machine learning technique which combines evolutionary computing, reinforcement learning, supervised or unsupervised learning and heuristics to produce adaptive systems. A LCS learns by interacting with an environment from which it receives feedback in the form of numerical reward. Learning is achieved by trying to maximize the amount of reward received. All LCSs models more or less, comprise four main components; a finite population of condition–action rules, called classifiers; the performance component, which governs the interaction with the environment; the credit assignment component, which distributes the reward received from the environment to the classifiers accountable for the rewards obtained; the discovery component, which is responsible for discovering better rules and improving existing ones through a genetic algorithm. The concatenate of the production rules in the LCS form the genotype, and therefore the GA should operate on a population of classifier systems. This approach is known as the 'Pittsburgh' Classifier Systems. Other LCS that perform their GA at the rule level within a population are known as 'Mitchigan' Classifier Systems. The most predominant representation of the discovered knowledge is the standard production rules (PRs) in the form of IF P THEN D. The PRs, however, are unable to handle exceptions and do not exhibit variable precision. The Censored Production Rules (CPRs), an extension of PRs, were proposed by Michalski and Winston that exhibit variable precision and supports an efficient mechanism for handling exceptions. A CPR is an augmented production rule of the form: IF P THEN D UNLESS C, where Censor C is an exception to the rule. Such rules are employed in situations, in which conditional statement IF P THEN D holds frequently and the assertion C holds rarely. By using a rule of this type we are free to ignore the exception conditions, when the resources needed to establish its presence are tight or there is simply no information available as to whether it holds or not. Thus, the IF P THEN D part of CPR expresses important information, while the UNLESS C part acts only as a switch and changes the polarity of D to ~D. In this paper Pittsburgh style LCSs approach is used for automated discovery of CPRs. An appropriate encoding scheme is suggested to represent a chromosome consisting of fixed size set of CPRs. Suitable genetic operators are designed for the set of CPRs and individual CPRs and also appropriate fitness function is proposed that incorporates basic constraints on CPR. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate the performance of the proposed learning classifier system.

Keywords: Censored Production Rule, Data Mining, GeneticAlgorithm, Learning Classifier System, Machine Learning, PittsburgApproach, , Reinforcement learning.

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