A generator for activity network diagrams

Activity network diagrams (ANDs) are an important means of work planning in (software) projects. They are directed graphs showing the dependencies of all defined work packages of a project as well as their duration and thus the overall time to be planned and managed in order to complete the project in time. The nodes represent the work packages and the edges represent the relationships between two work packages. A node, i.e. a work package, consists of a duration, denoting the number of days to be planned to finish the work package and four other time related values; the earlies respectively latest points in time the work package can be started to be worked on and be finished called ES, LS, EF, LF (Early Start/Finish, Late Start/Finish). The dependencies between the work packages (i.e. the edges of the graph) can have 4 different types, called precedence relationships. Each type of dependency affects the calculation of ES, LS, EF, LF in different ways. Additionally, one important insight an AND gives us is the identification of critical paths. These are paths containing just work packages which may not be delayed by even one day without delaying the overall project’s duration.

ANDs are covered in our lecture “Software Project Management”. As being covered, they are also used in our exercises to get hands-on practice with ANDs. Preparing such exercises requires a lot of effort. Just slight changes in a graph, for instance when changing a precedence relationship or adding or removing an edge or node, can lead to major changes in the overall graph calculations. Thus, after each change the whole graph must be reevaluated and recalculated by hand.

In this bachelor thesis the student is required to write a fully automated generation algorithm for such ANDs. The student shall apply requirements analysis with his supervisor to get a concrete view of what the software shall do. Then in the concept phase the student will have to conceptualize the way to automate the forward and backward calculation for ES, EF, LS and LF and identify the critical paths of the AND. This concept shall then be implemented and evaluated in a prototypical software application.

This thesis is only available as a bachelor thesis.

 

References:

  • Type: Bachelor Thesis
  • Status: Completed
  • ID: 2021-021
  • Student: Dominik Lammers

Supervisor