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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 415870, 12 pages
Research Article

Analysis of an Anomaly: The Increase in Time Float following Consumption

1School of Economics and Management, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
2Business Administration College, Nanchang Institute of Technology, Nanchang 330099, China

Received 18 June 2014; Accepted 19 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Wen-Chuan Lee

Copyright © 2014 Jianxun Qi and Zhixiong Su. 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.


One fundamental axiom for project plan and schedule relates to the notion that time float will be reduced following its consumption. However, an anomalous scenario can emerge in which an activity’s time float increases following its consumption. By exploring the associations between time float and paths in activity networks, we (a) reveal the conditions under which the anomaly occurs and (b) summarize laws related to total float. An activity’s total float increases in parallel with its duration prolongation within a given boundary but remains constant or decreases in parallel with a prolongation outside the boundary. Furthermore, whereas a prolongation of an activity’s duration in excess of classic total float does not delay project completion time, a lag of its start time to a degree slightly greater than the total float does. This analysis reveals different types of total float that correspond to different ways of usage. From this, we offer definitions for translation total float and prolongation total float that deviate from traditional conventions regarding the uniqueness of total float.