ITcon Vol. 29, pg. 324-346,

Work order prioritization using neural networks to improve building operation

submitted:May 2023
revised:March 2024
published:April 2024
editor(s):Obonyo E
authors:Mahnaz Ensafi, Ph.D. Candidate,
Virginia Tech

Walid Thabet, Ph.D., Professor,
Virginia Tech

Xinghua Gao, Ph.D., Assistant Professor,
Virginia Tech
summary:Current practices for prioritizing maintenance work orders are mainly user-driven and lack consistency in collecting, processing, and managing the large amount of data. While decision-making methods have been used to address some of the existing challenges such as inconsistency, they also have challenges including variation between comparison during the actual prioritization task as opposed to those outside of maintenance context. The data analytics and machine learning methods can help with extracting meaningful and valuable information, finding patterns, and drawing conclusions from the available data. Such methods have benefits including faster prioritization performance leading to less failure and downtimes, reduced impact of knowledge loss, decreased cognitive workload, identification of errors for adjusting the system, and determination of important factors impacting work order processing to support the development of data requirements. This paper summarizes the background on existing gaps in processing maintenance work orders and provides an overview of machine learning methods to support prioritizing work order. The paper then discusses the work order data of an educational facility as a case study, presents information on data exploration and data cleaning approach, and provides insights gained from their maintenance work order data. The insights gained present challenges such as submission of multiple work orders as one, missing data for certain criteria, long durations for addressing some of the work orders, and the correlation between criteria collected by the facility and the schedule. The paper continues by implementing artificial neural networks to benefit from work order data collected for automatically prioritizing the future work orders. The results present the optimum neural network structure based on mean squared error estimated and provides the best value for each parameter used for the development of the model. The accuracy and efficiency of the developed model was validated by the facility experts of the educational facility.
keywords:Facility Management, Maintenance Work Order, Prioritization, Artificial Neural Network
full text: (PDF file, 1.292 MB)
citation:Ensafi M, Thabet W, Gao X (2024). Work order prioritization using neural networks to improve building operation, ITcon Vol. 29, pg. 324-346,