Intelligent systems research in the construction industry

Zahir Irani, Muhammad Mustafa Kamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


With the increasing complexity of problems in the construction industry, researchers are investigating computationally rigorous intelligent systems with the aim of seeking intelligent solutions. The purpose of this paper is therefore to analyse the research published on 'intelligent systems in the construction industry' over the past two decades. This is achieved to observe and understand the historical trends and current patterns in the use of different types of intelligent systems and to exhibit potential directions of further research. Thus, to trace the applications of intelligent systems to research in the construction industry, a profiling approach is employed to analyse 514 publications extracted from the Scopus database. The prime value and uniqueness of this paper lies in analysing and compiling the existing published material by examining variables (such as yearly publications, geographic location of each publication, etc.). This has been achieved by synthesising existing publications using 14 keywords2 'Intelligent Systems', 'Artificial Intelligence', 'Expert Systems', 'Fuzzy Systems', 'Genetic Algorithms', 'Knowledge-Based Systems', 'Neural Networks', 'Context Aware Applications', 'Embedded Systems', 'Human-Machine Interface', 'Sensing and Multiple Sensor Fusion', 'Ubiquitous and Physical Computing', 'Case-based Reasoning' and 'Construction Industry'. The prime contributions of this research are identified by associating (a) yearly publication and geographic location, (b) yearly publication and the type of intelligent systems employed/discussed, (c) geographic location and the type of research methods employed, and (d) geographic location and the types of intelligent systems employed. These contributions provide a comparison between the two decades and offer insights into the trends in using different intelligent systems types in the construction industry. The analysis presented in this paper has identified intelligent systems studies that have contributed to the development and accumulation of intellectual wealth to the intelligent systems area in the construction industry. This research has implications for researchers, journal editors, practitioners, universities and research institutions. Moreover, it is likely to form the basis and motivation for profiling other database resources and specific types of intelligent systems journals in this area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)934-950
Number of pages17
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number4 PART 1
Early online date19 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Construction industry
  • Intelligent systems
  • Profiling
  • Scopus database

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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