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The final cost of public school building projects, like other construction projects, is unknown
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),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

42

MODELING FINAL COSTS OF IRAQI PUBLIC SCHOOL PROJECTS

USING NEURAL NETWORKS

Dr. Zeyad S. M. Khaled

1

, Dr. Qais Jawad Frayyeh

2

, Gafel kareem aswed

3

1

Associate Professor, College of Engineering, Alnahrian University, Baghdad, Iraq

2

Associate Professor, Department of Building and Construction Engineering, UOT, Baghdad, Iraq

3

Post graduate student, Building and Construction Engineering, UOT, Baghdad, Iraq

ABSTRACT

The final cost of public school building projects, like other construction projects, is unknown

to the owner till the account closure. Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is used in an attempt to

predict the final cost of two story (12 classes) school projects under lowest bid system of award

before work starts. A database of (65) school projects records completed in (2007-2012) are used to

develop and verify the ANN model. Based on expert opinions, nine out of eleven parameters are

considered to have the most significant impact on the magnitude of final cost. Hence they are used as

model inputs while the output of the model is going to be the final cost (FC). These parameters are;

accepted bid price, average bid price, estimated cost, contractor rank, supervising engineer

experience, project location, number of bidders, year of contracting, and contractual duration. It was

found that ANN has the ability to predict the final cost for school projects with very good degree of

accuracy having a coefficient of correlation (R) of (91%), and an average accuracy percentage of

(99.98%).

Keywords: Cost Estimation, Cost Modelling, Neural Network, Schools Projects.

1. INTRODUCTION

At the early stage of any project, a budget is to be decided, while no detailed information is

available. Therefore some parametric cost estimating techniques are used. Once the project scope is

well defined, detailed cost estimating can be carried out for bidding and cost control. The objective

of those parametric costs estimating techniques is to use some historical cost data and try to find a

functional relationship between changes in cost and factors influencing these changes. A major

drawback of statistical techniques is that a general mathematical form of the relationship has to be

defined before any analysis can be applied to best fit historical cost data. To avoid this drawback,

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

AND TECHNOLOGY (IJCIET)

ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print)

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online)

Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54

© IAEME: www.iaeme.com/ijciet.asp

Journal Impact Factor (2014): 7.9290 (Calculated by GISI)

www.jifactor.com

IJCIET

©IAEME

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

43

stochastic tools such as Artificial Neural Network (ANN), through their learn-by example process,

have been used for the modeling of the final cost.

2. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The research objectives are:

1. To explore factors that can be used to predict the final cost of school projects before starting

works.

2. To increase estimating efficiency of initial costs according to past data of already constructed

projects.

3. To build a mathematical model using (ANN) to predict construction cost deviation in school

projects before starting works.

3. RESEARCH JUSTIFICATION

The reasons for adopting this research are:

1. The high number of under construction school projects accompanied with continual cost

overrun.

2. The ever growing demand on schools buildings.

3. The need of successful completion of projects within contracted costs.

4. The need of knowing the final cost of the project before starting works.

4. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

At awarding stage, it can be said that the estimated cost, accepted bid price, average bidding

price, contractor rank, supervising engineer experience, number of bidders, contractor estimated

time, project location, year of contracting, owner's estimated duration and the second lowest bid are

good predictors to the final cost of public school building projects before starting works.

5. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

The following methodology is adopted in this research:

5.1. Literature review

Cost estimate, cost control, cost management, bidding strategy, and cost overrun related

literature are reviewed to identify the main topics to be handled in this research. The types of

Artificial Neural Networks (ANN), their structure, and uses in construction management are

outlined. Capabilities of some useful software such as: Neuframe, MS Excel, and Statistical Package

for the Social Sciences SPSS are also explored in this essence.

5.2. Data collection

Historical data is collected from (65) completed schools projects in Karbala province .The

projects were awarded under the lowest bid tendering system having the same design and number of

classrooms. Questionnaires have been directed to fifty experts in this field. These experts are asked

to pinpoint the most significant factors influencing the final cost of school projects. Thirty two

respondents’ answers are analyzed and the model input data are screed according to the results.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

44

5.3. Model formulation

Previous studies showed different methods used to interpret the relation between the

construction cost and factors believed to influence the final project cost. Most of them are parametric

cost estimating approaches that use statistical analysis techniques ranging from simple graphical

curve fitting to multiple correlation analysis. In this research the Artificial Neural Network technique

is adopted. (ANN) have a great potential in dealing with historical cost data effectively for the sake

of developing budgeting and cost estimating models. NEUFRAME program is used to develop the

desired model.

5.4. Model evaluation

The developed model is evaluated using a data set that is not used in constructing the

model.Resultsvs. Observed data are plotted to explore the model efficiency. This validation is carried

out to ensure that the model is applicable within the limits set by the training data. The coefficient of

correlation r, the root mean squared error RMSE, and the mean absolute error MAE as the main

criteria that are often used to evaluate the prediction performance of ANN models are checked.

Therefore the final model can estimate new project costs with no changes needed in the structure of

the ANN model.

6. APPLICATION OF ANN IN COST ESTIMATION

Neural networks models have been proposed in recent years for cost modeling using different

prediction parameters by many researchers (Elhag and Boussabaine [1]; Al-Tabtabai et al. [2]; Bode

[3]; Margaret et al. [4]; Elhag [5]; Steven and Garold [6]; Kim et al. [7]; Sodikov [8]; Wilmot and

Mei [9]; Pewdum et al. [10]; Cheng et al. [11]; Wang and Gibson [12]; Xin-Zheng et al. [13];

Attal[14]; Murtala [15];Arafa and Alqedra [16]; Sonmez[17]; Wang et al. [18]; Ahiaga-Dagbui and

Smith [19]; Feylizadeh et al. [20]; Bouabaz et al. [21]; Amusan et al. [22]; Alqahtani and Whyte

[23]). Literature review showed the variety of ways that are used to predict the project cost and its

deviation. Different variables were used as predictors in these studies. This research adopted all the

factors stated in literatures at first. Then factors are screened according to experts' opinions and used

to build a neural network capable to forecast the final cost of Iraqi school projects before work starts.

7. DESIGN OF THE ANN MODEL

Artificial Neural Networks are "computational models that attempt to imitate the function of

the human brain and the biological neural system in a simple way"[24]. They are very sophisticated

modeling techniques, capable of modeling extremely complex functions.

The most common structure of an artificial neural network consists of three layers (groups of

units): a layer of "input" units, a layer of "hidden" units, and a layer of "output" units, each layer is

connected to the adjacent ones through neurons forming a parallel distributed processing system

[25]. Different types of neural networks can be distinguished on the basis of their structure and

directions of signal flow.

In this study, a three-layered Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) feed-forward neural network

architecture is used and trained with the error back propagation algorithm. The back propagation

training with generalized delta learning rule is an iterative gradient algorithm designed to minimize

the root mean square error between the actual output of a multilayered feed-forward neural network

and a desired output [26].

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue

7.1. Data Collection

The required data for developing a school final

collected from many governmental

Directorate of Planning and Monitoring

Headquarters, Department of School

finished primary schools of the same design, number of classes, area, number of stories

in same manner (competitive bidding

consist of (12) classes, one principal, teachers, and

service staff rooms, water closets, paved

projects executed during (2007-2012)

that intended to be used in the model were collected from the literature review of previous studies.

7.2. Deciding Parameters

Fifty questionnaires were

supervisory staff. Thirty two completely answered forms are collected

(64%) of the total number. The respondents were asked to select the parameters that they believe

important in developing a mathematical model

result, nine out of eleven parameters

based on questionnaire respondents. Th

estimated cost(I

3

), contractor rank

number of bidders(I

7

), year of contracting

7.3. Data division and processing

Data processing is very important in using

information is presented to create the model during the training phase. It can be

scaling, normalization and transformation.

model. The best division is made using default parameters of PC

(version 20) to perform Ward’s methods hierarchical cluster to determine

resulted value of K which is (3) is used in K

plot of fig. (1) for the three clusters (groups) showed that the record

(2), so it will be excluded from the data processing.

Figure (1): Box-

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976

6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

45

The required data for developing a school final construction cost predicting model is

agencies in Kerbela province namely: Department of

Directorate of Planning and Monitoring, and Division of Governmental Contracts at the Governorate

, Department of School Buildings and Committee of Regions Development.

schools of the same design, number of classes, area, number of stories

ding) are selected as a case study. They are two story

principal, teachers, and administration rooms, auditorium

, paved playing yard, and external fence. Complete records

2012) are used for developing the final model. The initial parameters

that intended to be used in the model were collected from the literature review of previous studies.

Fifty questionnaires were directed to expert engineers from the related

completely answered forms are collected, showing a response rate

(64%) of the total number. The respondents were asked to select the parameters that they believe

mathematical model for predicting the final cost of school projects

parameters are adopted as independent variables of the ANN equations

based on questionnaire respondents. These variables are: accepted bid price(I

1

), average bid price

, contractor rank(I

4

), supervising engineer experience(I

5

), project

, year of contracting(I

8

), and contractor duration (I

9

).

Data processing is very important in using neural networks successfully. It determines what

information is presented to create the model during the training phase. It can be done through

scaling, normalization and transformation. Sixty school projects are selected to develop the ANN

best division is made using default parameters of PC-based software package SPSS

(version 20) to perform Ward’s methods hierarchical cluster to determine number of cluster

resulted value of K which is (3) is used in K-means clustering in SPSS instead of assuming it.

for the three clusters (groups) showed that the record no. (40) is an outlier from cluster

data processing.

-plot of Case Distance From its Cluster Center

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

predicting model is

Department of Projects,

at the Governorate

of Regions Development. Completely

schools of the same design, number of classes, area, number of stories, and awarded

two story buildings

auditorium, studio, two

Complete records of (65)

. The initial parameters

that intended to be used in the model were collected from the literature review of previous studies.

related public sector

a response rate of

(64%) of the total number. The respondents were asked to select the parameters that they believe

the final cost of school projects. As a

as independent variables of the ANN equations

, average bid price(I

2

),

project location(I

6

),

s successfully. It determines what

done through data

o develop the ANN

based software package SPSS

number of cluster (K). The

tead of assuming it. Box

is an outlier from cluster

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

46

From each cluster, three samples are selected; one for training, one for testing and one for

validation. In the instance when a cluster contains two records, one record is then chosen for training

set and the other one is chosen for testing set. If a cluster contains only one record, this record is

chosen in the training set [27].

Transforming input data into some well-known forms like log., exponential, and alike, may

be helpful to improve ANN performance. Therefore natural log is used to transform accepted bid

price (I

1

), average bid price(I

2

), and estimated cost (I

3

) parameters only. Many rounds of trial and

error are generated to reach the best data division according to the lowest testing error and the

highest coefficient of correlation (R). The best performance is obtained when the data divided

into(75%) for training set, (5%) for testing set, and (20%) for validation set. As a result, a total of

(44) records are used for training, (3) for testing and (1

2

) for validation.

In order to ensure that all variables receive equal attention during training; input and output

variables are pre-processed by scaling them (eliminate their dimension). Scaling is proportionated

with the limits of the transfer functions used in the hidden and the output layers within (–1.0 to 1.0)

for tanh transfer function and (0.0 to 1.0) for sigmoid transfer function. As part of this method, for

each variable (x) with minimum and maximum values of (x

min

) and (x

max

) respectively, the scaled

value (x

n

) is calculated as follows:

min max

min

n

x x

x x

x

−

−

= (1)

7.4. Training the ANN model

The number of hidden nodes affect the ANN performance, nevertheless a number of studies

have found that the forecasting performance of neural networks is not very sensitive to this

parameter [8]. Therefore the general strategy adopted in this study to find the optimal network

architecture and its internal parameters that control the training process starts with initial trials using

default parameters of the Neuframe software with one hidden layer and one hidden node then

slightly increasing the number of nodes until no significant improvement in the model performance

is gained. The network that shows the best performance with respect to the lowest testing error and

high correlation coefficient of validation is retrained with different combinations of momentum

terms, learning rates, and transfer functions in an attempt to improve the model performance.

Consequently, the model that has the optimum momentum term, learning rate, and transfer function

is retrained many times with different initial weights until no further improvement occurs.

Using the default parameters of the Neuframe software in which the learning rate is (0.2), the

momentum term is(0.8), and the transfer functions in the hidden and output layers nodes are sigmoid,

many networks with different numbers of hidden nodes are developed. It is found that a network

with three hidden nodes has the lowest prediction error for the testing set which is (2.894) with a

high coefficient of correlation (R) of (95.35). Therefore, three hidden nodes approach is chosen in

this model.

The effect of the internal parameters controlling the back-propagation algorithm (i.e.

momentum term and learning rate) on the performance of the latter model of three hidden layer

nodes is investigated. The optimum obtained value of the momentum term and learning rate are

found to be (0.9) and (0.7) with a testing error of (1.665%), training error of (5.728%), and

maximum correlation coefficient (R) of (91.13%).

The effect of using different transfer functions (i.e. sigmoid and tanh) is also investigated.

The better performance is obtained when the sigmoid transfer function is used for both hidden and

output layers. A neural network of nine input neurons, three hidden neurons and one output is found

to be the optimum architecture for the current problem as shown in fig. (2).

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

47

Input layer Hidden layer Output layer

Figure (2): Structure of the ANN Model for (FC)

7.5. Statistical tests

Estimation of statistical parameters is conducted to ensure that the data in the neuframe

training, testing, and validation sets represent the same statistical population. These parameters

include the mean, standard deviation, minimum and maximum values, and the range. The results

indicate that the training, testing, and validation sets are statistically consistent. Results are shown in

table(1).

To examine how representative the training, testing, and validation sets are with respect to

each other a t-test is exercised showing the results illustrated in table (2). The null hypothesis of no

difference in the means of each two data sets is checked by this t-test. The statistical tests are carried

out to examine the null hypothesis with a level of significance equal to (0.05). This means that there

is a confidence degree of (95%) that the training, testing, and validation sets are statistically

consistent.

Table (1): Input and Output Statistics for The ANN

Data Set

Statistical

parameters

Input Variables Output

Ln(I

1)

Ln(I

2)

Ln(I

3

) I

4

I

5

I

6

I

7

I

8

I

9

Ln(FC)

Training

n = 44

max 21.302 21.3495 21.3489 5 20 2 13 2012 487 21.3028

min 20.036 20.404 20.2691 1 8 1 8 2007 150 20.3342

mean 20.731 20.86643 20.83944 4.23 14.05 1.39 9.93 2009.39 321.68 20.76715

Std. 0.3280 0.303428 0.319757 0.831 3.457 0.493 1.246 1.715 82.227 0.319223

range 1.2668 0.9455 1.0798 4 12 1 5 5 337 1.0202

Testing

n = 3

max 20.637 20.8031 20.6804 5 30 2 9 2008 426 20.6029

min 20.427 20.5139 20.423 4 15 2 8 2008 270 20.475

mean 20.509 20.62027 20.54203 4.33 21.67 2 8.67 2008 338.67 20.55213

Std. 0.1120 0.159043 0.129785 0.577 7.638 0 0.577 0 79.658 0.067904

range 0.2096 0.2892 0.2574 1 15 0 1 0 156 0.1279

Valida-

tion

n = 12

max 21.183 21.2284 21.2101 5 20 2 10 2011 486 21.2921

min 20.037 20.4673 20.3887 3 7 1 8 2008 150 20.2934

mean 20.603 20.69795 20.68097 4 12.33 1.42 9.33 2008.83 352.42 20.69638

Std. 0.3135 0.267055 0.211935 0.853 3.676 0.515 0.888 1.193 104.213 0.293603

range 1.1456 0.7611 0.8214 2 13 1 2 3 336 0.9987

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

48

7.6. ANN Model Equation

The low number of connections weights obtained in the optimal ANN model enables the

network to be transformed into relatively simple hand-calculated formula. Connections weights and

threshold levels are summarized in table (3).

The predicted final cost can be expressed using the connections weights and the threshold

levels shown in table (3), as follows:

) x tanh 49 . 4 x tanh 61 . 3 x tanh 65 . 5 5 (0.8

e 1

1

FC

3 2 1

− + + −

+

=

(2)

Where:

9 9 . 10 8 8 . 10 7 7 . 10 6 6 . 10 5 5 . 10 4 4 . 10 3 3 . 10 2 2 . 10 1 1 . 10 10 1

I w I w I w I w I w I w I w I w I w x + + + + + + + + + θ =

(3)

9 9 . 11 8 8 . 11 7 7 . 11 6 6 . 11 5 5 . 11 4 4 . 11 3 3 . 11 2 112 1 1 . 11 11 2

I w I w I w I w I w I w I w I w I w x + + + + + + + + + θ =

(4)

9 9 . 12 8 8 . 12 7 7 . 12 6 6 . 12 5 5 . 12 4 4 . 12 3 3 . 12 2 2 . 12 1 1 . 12 12 3

I w I w I w I w I w I w I w I w I w x + + + + + + + + + θ =

(5)

Where:

I

1

= accepted bid price in Iraqi Dinars (IQD), I

2

= average bid price in (IQD), I

3

= estimated

cost in (IQD), I

4

= contractor rank (from 1 to 5), I

5

= supervising engineer years of experience,

I

6

= project location (urban/ rural), I

7

= number of bidders, I

8

= year of contracting (2007 to 2012),

I

9

= contractual duration (in days).

It should be noted that, before using equation (2), all input variables (I

1

to I

9

) need to be

scaled between (0.0 and 1.0) using equation (1) and the ANN model training data shown in table(1).

This means that the predicted value of FC obtained from equation (2) is also scaled between (0.0)

and (1.0).In order to obtain the actual value of the final cost, the scaled value of FC has to be re-

scaled using equation (6) and the data shown in table (1). For linear scaling all observations are

linearly scaled between the minimum and maximum values according to the following formula [28]:

Table (2): Null Hypothesis Tests for the ANN Input and Output Variables

Statistical

Parameters

Input Variables Output

Ln(I

1)

Ln(I

2)

Ln(I

3

) I

4

I

5

I

6

I

7

I

8

I

9

Ln(FC)

Data sets Testing

t-value -1.005 -1.570 -1.815 -0.772 -1.646 -0.022 -1.626 -1.064 0.785 -0.538

Lower critical value -0.2902 -0.2907 -0.2456 -0.73 -4.08 -0.33 -0.98 -1.12 -42.60 -0.2321

Upper critical value 0.1082 0.0486 0.0236 0.35 0.59 0.32 0.15 0.39 89.83 0.1409

Sig.(2-tailed) 0.336 0.145 .097 0.457 0.128 0.983 0.132 0.310 0.449 0.601

Results Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept

Data sets Validation

t-value -1.005 -1.570 -1.815 -0.772 -1.646 -0.022 -1.626 -1.064 0.785 -0.538

Lower critical value -0.2902 -0.2907 -0.2456 -0.73 -4.08 -0.33 -0.98 -1.12 -42.60 -0.2321

Upper critical value 0.1082 0.0486 0.0236 0.35 0.59 0.32 0.15 0.39 89.83 0.1409

Sig.(2-tailed) 0.336 0.145 .097 0.457 0.128 0.983 0.132 0.310 0.449 0.601

Results Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept Accept

Table (3): Weights and Threshold Levels for the ANN Model (FC)

Hidden

layer

nodes

w

ji

(weight from node i in the input layer to node j in the hidden layer)

Hidden layer

threshold

i=1 i=2 i=3 i=4 i=5 i=6 i=7 i=8 i=9 θ

j

j=10 1.0781 0.9242 2.7347 -0.392 -0.873 -0.814 1.1534 -1.562 1.2841 -2.96178

j=11 -0.512 -0.353 1.5225 0.1001 0.2708 -0.543 -0.994 0.1261 0.3729 -1.33665

j=12 0.7865 0.5072 -0.751 0.0438 -0.633 -1.139 0.3986 -1.150 0.2923 0.41731

Output

layer

nodes

w

ji

(weight from node i in the hidden layer to node j in the output layer)

Output layer

threshold θj i=10 i=11 i=12 - - -

j=13 5.6525 3.6123 -4.493 -0.8497

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

49

SV=TF

min

+൫TF

max

-TF

min

൯*

X-X

min

X

max

-X

min

(6)

Where:

SV is the scaled value, TF

min

and TF

max

are the respective minimum and maximum values of the

transfer function (0, 1), X is the value of the observation, and X

min

and X

max

are the respective

minimum and maximum values of all observations, for example:

851 . 0

2668 . 1

0781 . 1

range

i

* ) 0 1 ( 0 W

I

1

1

1 . 10

= − + = =

After scaling and substituting the weights and threshold levels of table (3), equations (2 t0 5)

can be rewritten as shown below:

min

) x tanh 49 . 4 x tanh 61 . 3 x tanh 65 . 5 85 (0.

e 1

range

FC

3 2 1

+

− + + −

+

=

(7)

3342 . 20

) x tanh 49 . 4 x tanh 61 . 3 x tanh 65 . 5 5 (0.8

e 1

0202 . 1

FC

3 2 1

+

− + + −

+

=

(8)

and:

X

1

=535.79 +10

-3

[851I

1

+977 I

2

+ 2532I

3

- 98I

4

-72I

5

-814I

6

+230I

7

-312I

8

+3I

9

] (9)

X

2

=63.23-10

-3

[404I

1

+374I

2

-1410I

3

-25I

4

-22I

5

+544I

6

+198I

7

-25I

8

-I

9

] (10)

X

3

=458.95+10

-3

[621I

1

+536I

2

- 696I

3

+11I

4

-53I

5

- 1139I

6

+79I

7

-230I

8

+0.8I

9

] (11)

A numerical example is also provided to better explain the implementation of FC formula.

The equation is tested against data not used in ANN model training. These data are shown in

table (4).

Table (4): Data Record not Used in Training ANN

Ln(FC) Ln I

1

Ln I

2

Ln I

3

I

4

I

5

I

6

I

7

I

8

I

9

21.19 21.18 21.31 21.27 5 18 1 12 2011 360

The results of equations (9, 10, and 11) are; X1= (1.653), X2= (125.4335), and

X3= (5.422).Therefor Ln (FC) is found to be (21.2125) using equation (8). By taking the inverse of

this natural log, the value of (FC) is found to be (IQD 1,631,066,610). This gives a very good

agreement with the measured values where (Ln FC=21.19 and FC = IQD 1,594,777,396).

7.7. Sensitivity Analysis of the ANN Model Inputs

Sensitivity analysis is carried out on the ANN model to identify which of the input variables

have the most significant impact on the final cost.

Simple and innovative technique proposed by Garson is used to interpret the relative

importance of the input variables by examining the connection weights of the trained network. For a

network with one hidden layer, the technique involves a process of partitioning the hidden output

connection weights into components associated with each input node (Garson, 1991: cited by [29]).

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue

The results shown in table (5)

with a relative importance of (23.49%).

Table (5):

Ln(I

1)

Ln(I

2)

Relative

importance (%)

11.41 7.83

Rank 5 8

It has the most significant effect on the predicted final cost model

the questionnaire results. This result consistent with

was ranked third in Olatunji study

importance of (13.068%). This reasonable result indicates

competition on the final project cost consistent with Mohd et al. regression model

also indicate that the location of the project (

(12.91%) in contradiction with Creedy et al. regression model [

ranked forth with relative importance (12.295%). The natural log of accepted bid price (

relative importance equals to (11.41%) and ranked fifths

(I

2

) has the eighth relative importance in the ANN mode

in Olatunji study [30]. The contractor classification (

low importance of contractor classification (

final cost model is consistent with Ewadh and Aswed study

seventh with relative importance (8.38%) consistent with Ahiaga

results are also presented in fig. (3).

Figure (3):

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976

6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

50

in table (5) indicate that the natural log of estimated cost (I

with a relative importance of (23.49%).

Table (5): Relative Importance of Each Input

2)

Ln(I

3

) I

4

I

5

I

6

I

7

I

7.83 23.49 2.18 8.415 12.91 13.07 12.29

1 9 6 3 2

It has the most significant effect on the predicted final cost model whereas

the questionnaire results. This result consistent with Ahiaga- Dagbui and Smith study [

was ranked third in Olatunji study [30]. The number of bidders (I

7

) ranked second with a relative

This reasonable result indicates the significant impact of degree of

competition on the final project cost consistent with Mohd et al. regression model

also indicate that the location of the project (I

6

) (urban/rural) ranked third with relative importance

ntradiction with Creedy et al. regression model [31]. The year of contracting (

ranked forth with relative importance (12.295%). The natural log of accepted bid price (

relative importance equals to (11.41%) and ranked fifths while the natural log of average bid price

) has the eighth relative importance in the ANN mode whereas it is the most important parameter

]. The contractor classification (I

4

) comes ninth, same as in expert opinion.

classification (I

4

) and supervisor engineer experience (

final cost model is consistent with Ewadh and Aswed study [34].The contractor duration (

seventh with relative importance (8.38%) consistent with Ahiaga- Dagbui and Smith

: Relative Importance of Input Variables

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

indicate that the natural log of estimated cost (I

3

) ranked first

I

8

I

9

12.29 8.385

4 7

whereas ranked second in

Dagbui and Smith study [19] whereas it

) ranked second with a relative

the significant impact of degree of

competition on the final project cost consistent with Mohd et al. regression model [33]. The results

) (urban/rural) ranked third with relative importance

]. The year of contracting (I

8

)

ranked forth with relative importance (12.295%). The natural log of accepted bid price (I

1

) has a

log of average bid price

it is the most important parameter

) comes ninth, same as in expert opinion. The

) and supervisor engineer experience (I

5

) in the ANN

.The contractor duration (I

9

) ranked

Dagbui and Smith study [19]. The

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

51

It does not necessarily mean that low-value parameters should be excluded from the model.

These parameters could enhance the learning ability of the model to achieve the best output

prediction. This argument is also supported by Arafa and Alqedra[16].

7.8. Validity of the ANN Model Equation

Additional statistical measures are used to measure the performance of the model include:

1. Mean Percentage Error:

ܯܲܧ ൌ ቐ

ܣ െܧ

ܣ

൨ /݊

ୀଵ

ቑ כ 100

Where: A = actual value, E = estimated or predicted value, n = total number of cases (6 for

validation).

2. Root Mean Squared Error:

RMSE ൌ

ඨ

∑ ሺE െ

Aሻ

ଶ ୬

୨ୀଵ

n

3. Mean Absolute Percentage Error:

MAPE ൌ ቐ

|A െ E|

A

୬

୨ୀଵ

כ 100ቑ/n

4. Average accuracy percentage (AA %) [9]:

AA% = 100% -MAPE

5. The Coefficient of Determination (R

2

)

6. The Coefficient of Correlation (R).

The results of these statistical parameters are shown in table (6).

Table (6): Statistical Measures Results

Description Statistical parameters

MPE 0.23%

RMSE 0.12

MAPE 0.014%

AA% 99.98%

R

2

83 %

R 91%

To assess the validity of the derived equation of the ANN model in predicting the final cost

of a school project (FC), the natural logarithm (Ln) of predicted values of (FC) are plotted against the

natural logarithm (Ln) of measured (observed) values for validation data set as shown in fig. (4). It is

clear from this figure that the resulted ANN has a generalization capability for any data set used

within the range of data used in the training phase. It is a proven fact that neural nets have a strong

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue

generalization ability, which means that, once they have been properly trained, they are able to

provide accurate results even for cases they have never seen before. The coefficient of determination

(R

2

) is found to be (83.06%), therefore it can be concluded that this model shows a good agreement

with actual measurements.

Figure (4): Comparison of

8. CONCLUSIONS

A neural network model is developed to predict the final cost of school projects before the

work starts. Nine out of eleven variables were identified and analyzed as independent variables of the

ANN model based on questionnaire

study the impact of the internal network parameters on

performance is relatively insensitive to the number of hidden layer node

learning rate while very sensitive to the type of the

transformed into a simple and practical formula from which final cost of school projects

calculated by hand. Therefore the

contractual sums and predicted final cost obtained from the proposed ANN model can be easily

calculated. Future school budget could be estimated accurately using the proposed ANN model.

Sensitivity analysis indicated

predicted final cost followed by (I

7

)

(13.06%) respectively. The results of

of the ANN model.

Attention must be paid to the tendering evaluation process taking into account the

cost not the lowest bid. More accurate estimate must be done

estimated duration must be set out by the owner and must not be one of competitive conditions.

9. REFERENCES

[1] Elhag, T M S and Boussabaine, A. H., “Tender Price Estimation: Neural networks VS.

Regression analysis”, Proceedings of Construction and Building Research (COBRA)

Conference, 1-2 September 1999, University of Salford, UK.RICS Foundation.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976

6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

52

generalization ability, which means that, once they have been properly trained, they are able to

accurate results even for cases they have never seen before. The coefficient of determination

%), therefore it can be concluded that this model shows a good agreement

Comparison of Predicted and Observed FC

A neural network model is developed to predict the final cost of school projects before the

work starts. Nine out of eleven variables were identified and analyzed as independent variables of the

based on questionnaire respondents' recommendations. The ANN model

study the impact of the internal network parameters on the model performance. It indicates

performance is relatively insensitive to the number of hidden layer nodes, momentum terms, and the

very sensitive to the type of the transfer function. The ANN model could be

transformed into a simple and practical formula from which final cost of school projects

he expected cost deviation which is the difference between

contractual sums and predicted final cost obtained from the proposed ANN model can be easily

calculated. Future school budget could be estimated accurately using the proposed ANN model.

alysis indicated (I

3

) (estimated cost) has the most significant effect on the

(number of bidders) with a relative importance of (23.49%) and

results of a numerical example carried out in this work showed the robust

ttention must be paid to the tendering evaluation process taking into account the

ccurate estimate must be done to avoid cost overrun

be set out by the owner and must not be one of competitive conditions.

Elhag, T M S and Boussabaine, A. H., “Tender Price Estimation: Neural networks VS.

Proceedings of Construction and Building Research (COBRA)

2 September 1999, University of Salford, UK.RICS Foundation.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

generalization ability, which means that, once they have been properly trained, they are able to

accurate results even for cases they have never seen before. The coefficient of determination

%), therefore it can be concluded that this model shows a good agreement

A neural network model is developed to predict the final cost of school projects before the

work starts. Nine out of eleven variables were identified and analyzed as independent variables of the

. The ANN model is developed to

indicates that ANN

s, momentum terms, and the

The ANN model could be

transformed into a simple and practical formula from which final cost of school projects can be

expected cost deviation which is the difference between

contractual sums and predicted final cost obtained from the proposed ANN model can be easily

calculated. Future school budget could be estimated accurately using the proposed ANN model.

) (estimated cost) has the most significant effect on the

(number of bidders) with a relative importance of (23.49%) and

work showed the robust

ttention must be paid to the tendering evaluation process taking into account the estimated

to avoid cost overrun. A reasonable

be set out by the owner and must not be one of competitive conditions.

Elhag, T M S and Boussabaine, A. H., “Tender Price Estimation: Neural networks VS.

Proceedings of Construction and Building Research (COBRA)

2 September 1999, University of Salford, UK.RICS Foundation.

International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology (IJCIET), ISSN 0976 – 6308 (Print),

ISSN 0976 – 6316(Online), Volume 5, Issue 7, July (2014), pp. 42-54 © IAEME

53

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