Technical Papers

Quantifying the Similarity between Different Project Types Based on Their Pay Item Compositions: Application to Bundling


Similarity between project types is an important consideration in several contexts of construction management, including contract development, contractor selection, and project bundling. Projects that require similar types of resources can generally be considered compatible or similar and thus are prime candidates for simultaneous delivery through project bundling as well as other construction management applications. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted, robust, and quantitative measure of project similarity. This paper presents a methodology to quantify the similarity between different project types based on their constituent pay items. Two project types are considered similar if they have in common a large percentage of pay items. Cluster analysis was first carried out to evaluate how different project types can be clustered into different groups. Several approaches were then proposed for quantifying the similarity between any two project types and the average similarity among multiple bundled projects. The paper’s framework can be used by highway agencies to serve as a guide in making or evaluating construction management–related decisions in various contexts including project bundling.

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