Activity Prioritization Under Resource Constraints Using a Utility Index Method

P. Aslani1, S. Christodoulou2, F.H. Griffis1, G. Ellinas 3, L. Chiarelli 1
1 Department of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA.
2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus.
3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus.

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© Aslani et al.;

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus, Nicosia 1678, Cyprus. Tel: +357-22892270; Fax: +357-22892295; E-mails: SCHRISTO@UCY.AC.CY or SC163@HOTMAIL.COM


Resource availability constraints are a typical real-life construction scheduling problem; a problem that limits a constructor's ability to execute and deliver a project as originally planned. It is, thus, imperative that developed project schedules should have not only well-thought project logic networks (successor/predecessor information and activity durations) but also resource assignments (including cost) for each activity in the network so that the effects of resource constraints can effectively be accounted for. The paper presents a new approach to resource-constrained scheduling that allows for activity prioritization when a project is subject to limited resources. The methodology proposed is based on a utility index, hereby defined as the ratio of the number of required resources for a specific activity to the total number of required resources among competing activities. A dynamic programming technique is adopted to maximize the utility value for each activity so that the resource allocation among competing activities, as suggested by the method, results in the minimum overall project duration.