A 4-D Project Control System with Information Visualization Technology


Qiao Zhang

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science and Info Sys

Date of Award

Summer 2014


The size and complexity of construction projects have grown rapidly in the last decades. It is more important than ever to take advantage of emerging information technologies to explore the possibility to better control projects. The ultimate goal of a project control system is to assist project managers to agilely capture and perceive information on project control so that they can make decisions effectively and efficiently. Most project control systems treat cost and schedule controls separately. However, cost and schedule controls are interrelated. Therefore, the current project control paradigm may not be very helpful to project managers.In this research, a prototype of a 4-D project control system is proposed. The features of the 4-D project control system are twofold: (1) project information structure (PIS) and (2) information visualization technology. The project information structure is a three-dimensional tree structure consisting of schedule, cost, and organizational breakdown structures. The fourth dimension of the 4-D project control system represents the time series of the entire project duration. Information visualization technology enables the user to quickly form a mental model by visually exploring the project information structure. It is expected that a 4-D project control system can help project managers control projects more effectively and efficiently. It will be verified by conducting a usability evaluation of the 4-D project control system.


Sang C. Suh

Subject Categories

Computer Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics