Predicting delays in prefabricated projects: SD-BP neural network to define effects of risk disruption

Ying Zhao, Wei Chen, Mehrdad Arashpour, Zhuzhang Yang, Chengxin Shao, Chao Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Prefabricated construction is often hindered by scheduling delays. This paper aims to propose a schedule delay prediction model system, which can provide the key information for controlling the delay effects of risk-related factors on scheduling in prefabricated construction. Design/methodology/approach: This paper combines SD (System Dynamics) and BP (Back Propagation) neural network to predict risk related delays. The SD-based prediction model focuses on dynamically presenting the interrelated impacts of risk events and activities along with workflow. While BP neural network model is proposed to evaluate the delay effect for a single risk event disrupting a single job, which is the necessary input parameter of SD-based model. Findings: The established model system is validated through a structural test, an extreme condition test, a sensitivity test, and an error test, and shows an excellent performance on aspect of reliability and accuracy. Furthermore, 5 scenarios of case application during 3 different projects located in separate cities prove the prediction model system can be applied in a wide range. Originality/value: This paper contributes to academic research on combination of SD and BP neural network at the operational level prediction, and a practical prediction tool supporting managers to take decision-making in a timely manner against delays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1753-1776
Number of pages24
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • BP neural network
  • Predicting delays
  • Prefabricated construction
  • Risk disruption
  • System dynamics

Cite this