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Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience
Volume 2015, Article ID 149702, 9 pages
Research Article

Application of Boosting Regression Trees to Preliminary Cost Estimation in Building Construction Projects

Department of Plant and Architectural Engineering, Kyonggi University, Gwanggyosan-ro 154-42, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do 443-760, Republic of Korea

Received 8 October 2014; Revised 11 December 2014; Accepted 7 January 2015

Academic Editor: Rahib H. Abiyev

Copyright © 2015 Yoonseok Shin. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Among the recent data mining techniques available, the boosting approach has attracted a great deal of attention because of its effective learning algorithm and strong boundaries in terms of its generalization performance. However, the boosting approach has yet to be used in regression problems within the construction domain, including cost estimations, but has been actively utilized in other domains. Therefore, a boosting regression tree (BRT) is applied to cost estimations at the early stage of a construction project to examine the applicability of the boosting approach to a regression problem within the construction domain. To evaluate the performance of the BRT model, its performance was compared with that of a neural network (NN) model, which has been proven to have a high performance in cost estimation domains. The BRT model has shown results similar to those of NN model using 234 actual cost datasets of a building construction project. In addition, the BRT model can provide additional information such as the importance plot and structure model, which can support estimators in comprehending the decision making process. Consequently, the boosting approach has potential applicability in preliminary cost estimations in a building construction project.