Identification of defect generation rules among defects in construction projects using association rule mining

Jungeun Park, Yongwoon Cha, Hamad Al Jassmi, Sangwon Han, Chang Taek Hyun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study aims to identify the defect generation rules between defects, to support effective defect prevention at construction sites. Numerous studies have been performed to identify the relations between defect causes, to prevent defects in construction projects. However, identifying the inter-causal pattern does not yet guarantee an ultimate grasp of what constitutes proper defect mitigation strategies, unless the underlying defect-to-defect generation rules are thoroughly understood too. Specifically, if a defect generated in a work process is ignored without taking necessary corrective action, then additional defects could be generated in its following works as well. Thus, to minimize defect generation, this study analyzes the defects in the sequence of a construction work. To achieve this, the authors collected 9054 defect data, and association rule mining is used to analyze the rules between the defects. Consequently, 216 rules are identified, and 152 rules are classified into 3 categories along with 4 experts (71 expected rules, 22 unexpected but explainable rules, and 59 unexpected and unexplainable rules). The generation rules between the defects identified in this study are expected to be used to regularize various defect types to determine those that require priority management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3875
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 May 2020


  • Association rule mining
  • Construction quality management
  • Defect generation rule
  • Defect prevention
  • Multi-family housing


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