Review of the Potential for a Cyber-Physical System Approach to Temporary Structures Monitoring

Xiao Yuan, Chimay J Anumba, Kevin M Parfitt


Around three quarters of construction workers work on or near temporary structures, whose failures lead to more than 100 deaths, 4500 injuries, and damage costing $90 million each year in the United States. However, few of the temporary structural problems have been well addressed, especially when compared with the increasing improvements in permanent structures. Meanwhile, the review of leading causes of temporary structural failures identifies the need for improved methods, such as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS), to prevent potential structural hazards. This paper makes the first effort to examine CPS applicability in temporary structures, and potential benefits brought by CPS to temporary structural monitoring. Key definitions and features of CPS, CPS applications in both other industry sectors and the built environment, and applications of CPS enabling technologies in temporary structures are reviewed. It is concluded that CPS provides opportunity to address safety and structural problems of temporary structures. For a clear understanding of how CPS works in structural monitoring, an application scenario of scaffolding system is presented. Finally, system requirements followed by a system architecture are identified.


Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS); temporary structural monitoring; system architecture

Full Text:



Arney, D., Pajic, M., Goldman, J. M., Lee, I., Mangharam, R., and Sokolsky, O. (2010). Toward Patient Safety in Closed-loop Medical Device Systems. In: the 1st ACM/IEEE International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems. NY, USA .12-15 April (pp. 139-148).

Anderson, A. (2011). Report to the President on Ensuring American Leadership in Advanced Manufacturing. Executive Office of the President. Washington DC.

Akanmu, A., Anumba, C., and Messner, J. (2014). Active Monitoring and Control of Light Fixtures during Building Construction and Operation: Cyber-Physical Systems Approach. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 20(2), 04013088.

Akanmu, A., Anumba, C., and Messner, J. (2014). Critical review of approaches to integrating virtual models and the physical construction. International Journal of Construction Management, 14(4), 267-282.

Akanmu, A. (2012). Towards Cyber-Physical Systems integration in Construction. PhD Thesis, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park, PA.

Anumba, C., Akanmu, A., Messner, J. (2010). Towards a Cyber-Physical Systems Approach to Construction. In: 2010 Construction Research Congress, Banff, Alberta, 8-10 May (pp. 528–538).

Akanmu, A., Nguyen, D., Rasheed, S. H., & Olatunji, O (2014). An Automated Approach to Construction Site Layout Generation. In: 50th ASC Annual International Conference, Washington, DC. 26-28 March (pp 1-8).

Baheti, R., and Gill, H. (2011). Cyber-Physical Systems. The Impact of Control Technology, 12:161-166.

Chi, S., Hampson, K. D., Biggs, H. C. (2012). Using BIM for Smarter and Safer Scaffolding and Formwork Construction: a Preliminary Methodology. In: Modelling and Building Health and Safety, Singapore. 10-11 September (pp. 1-11).

Cardenas, A., A., Amin, S., and Sastry S. (2008). Secure Control: Towards Survivable Cyber-Physical Systems. Proc., the 28th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops. Beijing, China. 17-20 June, 1 (a2): (a3).

Cheng, A. M. (2008). Cyber-Physical Medical and Medication Systems. Proc., the 28th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops. Beijing, China. 17-20 June (pp. 529-532).

Derler, P., Lee, E.A., Vincentelli, A.S. (2012). Modeling Cyber–Physical Systems. Proc., IEEE. 100 (1): 13–28.

Feld, J., and Carper, K. (1997). Construction failure, 2nd Ed., Wiley, New York.

Fabiano, B., Fabio, C., Reverberi, A.P., Pastorino, R. (2008). A Statistical Study on Temporary Work and Occupational Accidents: Specific Risk Factors and Risk Management Strategies. Safety Science 46.3 (2008): 535-544.

Gong, Y., and Li, S. (2013). Fusion Framework of Urban Traffic Control and Route Guidance Based on Cyber-Physical System Theory. J. Highw. Transp. Res. Dev. Engl. Ed. 7, 82–89.

Grant, M., and Pallett, P.F. (2012). Temporary Works: Principles of Design and Construction. ICE Publishing. London.

Ge, H. X., Dai, S. Q., Dong, L. Y., and Xue, Y. (2004). Stabilization Effect of Traffic Flow in an Extended Car-Following Model Based on an Intelligent Transportation System Application. Physical Review E, 70(6), 066134.

Greenwood, G., Gallagher, J., & Matson, E. (2015). Cyber-Physical Systems: The Next Generation of Evolvable Hardware Research and Applications. In: 18th Asia Pacific Symposium on Intelligent and Evolutionary Systems. Singapore. 10-12 November (pp. 1: 285-296).

Hallowell, M.R., and Gambatese, J.A. (2009). Activity-Based Safety Risk Quantification for Concrete Formwork Construction. J. Constr. Eng. Manag. 990–998.

Hackmann, G., Guo, W., Yan, G., Sun, Z., Lu, C., and Dyke, S. (2014). Cyber-Physical Codesign of Distributed Structural Health Monitoring with Wireless Sensor Networks. Parallel and Distributed Systems, IEEE Transactions, 25(1), 63-72.

Jung, Y. (2014). An Approach to Automated Detection of Failure in Temporary Structures using Image Processing. Journal of Engineering and Architecture, 2(1), 49-61.

Kim, H. and Ahn, H. (2011). Temporary Facility Planning of a Construction Project Using BIM. Computing in Civil Engineering. ACSE, Miami, Florida, 19-22 June (pp. 627-634).

Kim, J., Fischer, M., Kunz, J., and Levitt, R. (2014). Sharing of Temporary Structures: Formalization and Planning Application. Automation in Construction, 43, 187-194.

Kaihara, T., and Yao, Y. (2012). A New Approach on CPS-based Scheduling and WIP Control in Process Industries. In Simulation Conference (WSC) 2012. Berlin, Germany. 9-12 December (pp. 1-11).

Khaitan, S. K., & McCalley, J. D. (2014). Design techniques and applications of cyber physical systems: a survey. Systems Journal, IEEE, 9 (2), 350-365.

Karnouskos, S. (2011). Cyber-Physical Systems in the Smart Grid. In 2011 9th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN). Lisbon, Portugal .26-29 July (pp. 20-23).

Kaminetzky, D. (1991). Design and Construction Failures: Lessons from Forensic Investigations. McGraw-Hill, 204–211.

Krogh, B.H., Lee, E., Lee, I., Mok, A., Rajkumar, R., Sha, L.R., Vincentelli, A.S., Shin, K., Stankovic, J., Sztipanovits, J. (2008). Cyber-Physical Systems: Executive Summary. CPS Steer Group, Wash. DC.

Kleinosky, T. J. (2012). Temporary Structure Failure – Case Studies, from .

Lee, E. A. (2007). Computing foundations and practice for cyber-physical systems: A preliminary report. University of California, Berkeley, Tech. Rep. UCB/EECS-2007-72.

Liu, W., and Su, J. (2011). A Solution of Dynamic Manufacturing Resource Aggregation in CPS. In: Information Technology and Artificial Intelligence Conference (ITAIC), 2011 6th IEEE Joint International. Chongqing, China. 20-22, August (Vol. 2, pp. 65-71).

Lee, I., and Sokolsky, O. (2010). Medical Cyber Physical Systems. In: Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2010 47th ACM/IEEE, Anaheim, CA. 13-18 June (pp. 743-748).

Lee, J., Bagheri, B., & Kao, H. A. (2015). A cyber-physical systems architecture for industry 4.0-based manufacturing systems. Manufacturing Letters, 3, 18-23.

Li, H., Huang, T., Kong, C. W., Guo, H. L., Baldwin, A., Chan, N., and Wong, J. (2008). Integrating Design and Construction through Virtual Prototyping. Automation in Construction, 17(8), 915-922.

Lintelman, S., Sampigethaya, K., Li, M., Poovendran, R., and Robinson, R. (2008). High Assurance Aerospace CPS and Implications for the Automotive Industry. In Proceedings of the National Workshop on High Confidence Automotive Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).Washington, DC. 18-20 November.

Mohamed, S. (2002). Safety Climate in Construction Site Environments. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 128(5), 375-384.

Moon, S., Choi, B., Yang, B. (2012). USN-Based Data Acquisition for Increasing Safety in the Concrete Formwork Operation. J. Comput. Civ. Eng. 26, 271-281.

Mertins, K., Knothe, T., and Gocev, P. (2012). Towards CPS Based Aircraft MRO. In Collaborative Networks in the Internet of Services. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 166-173.

Mckiniley J. C. (2011). After Accidents, a Call for Regulation, from

NITRD, 2012. Winning the Future with Science and Technology for 21st Century Smart Systems. Penny Hill Press Inc.

Noor, A. K. (2011). Intelligent Adaptive Cyber-Physical Ecosystem for Aerospace Engineering Education, Training, and Accelerated Workforce Development. Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 24(4), 403-408.

OSHA (2014). OSHA Scaffold Certificate Course, from

Olatunji, O. A., and Akanmu, A. A. (2015). An adaptive cyber-physical system’s approach to construction progress monitoring and control. In R.R.A. Issa and S. Olbina (Eds.), Building Information Modeling, (pp 195). Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers.

Park, H. S., Thomas, S. R., and Tucker, R. L. (2005). Benchmarking of Construction Productivity. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 131(7), 772-778.

Parfitt, M.K. (2009). Cranes, Structures Under Construction, and Temporary Facilities: Are We Doing Enough to Ensure They Are Safe? J. Arch. Eng. 15, 1–2.

Penna, R., Amaral, M., Espindola, D., Botelho, S., Duarte, N., Pereira, C. E., Zuccolotto, M. and Morosini Frazzon, E. Visualization tool for cyber-physical maintenance systems. In: 12th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN). Porto Alegre, 27-30 July (pp. 566-571).

Rajkumar, R. R., Lee, I., Sha, L., and Stankovic, J. (2010). Cyber-Physical Systems: the Next Computing Revolution. In: 2010 47th ACM/IEEE, Anaheim, CA. 13-18 June (pp. 731-736).

Smart System. (2012). Cyber Physical Systems: situation analysis of current trends, technologies, and challenges. Technical Report. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Columbia, Maryland.

Shane, J. S., Molenaar, K. R., Anderson, S., and Schexnayder, C. (2009). Construction Project Cost Escalation Factors. Journal of Management in Engineering, 25(4), 221-229.

Shi, J. J., Cheung, S. O., and Arditi, D. (2001). Construction Delay Computation Method. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 127(1), 60-65.

Shapira, A. (1999). Contemporary Trends in Formwork Standards-A Case Study. J. Constr. Eng. Manag. 125, 69–75.

Shi, J., Wan, J., Yan, H., Suo, H. (2011). A Survey of Cyber-Physical Systems. In: 2011 International Conference on Wireless Communications and Signal Processing (WCSP). Nanjing, China. 9-11, November (pp. 1–6).

Stewart P. (2010). Four Times Square - Scaffold Collapse (July 21, 1998), from .

Sun, Y., McMillin, B., Liu, X. F., and Cape, D. (2007). Verifying Noninterference in a Cyber-Physical System the Advanced Electric Power Grid. Quality Software, 2007. Seventh International Conference on. IEEE. Portland, Oregon, USA. 11-12, October (pp. 363-369).

Sha, L., Gopalakrishnan, S., Liu, X., and Wang, Q. (2009). Cyber-Physical Systems: A New Frontier. In Machine Learning in Cyber Trust. Springer, NY. 3-13.

Tidwell, T., Gao, X., Huang, H. M., Lu, C., Dyke, S., and Gill, C. (2009). Towards Configurable Real-time Hybrid Structural Testing: a Cyber-Physical System Approach. In: Object/Component/Service-Oriented Real-Time Distributed Computing, IEEE International Symposium. Tokyo, Japan. 17-20, March (pp. 37-44).

Thornton Tomasetti Company (2012). Indiana State Fair Commission, August 13, 2011 Collapse Incident, Investigative Report, from

U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics (2003-2012). Occupational Injuries by Selected Characteristics, from

UEI (United Electronic Industries) (2006). Data Acquisition Systems Then and Now, from

U.S. Department of Labor (2014). Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards, from

Wu, N., and Li, X. (2011). RFID Applications in Cyber-Physical System. INTECH Open Access Publisher.

Wainscott J.E. (2011). Outdoor Festivals and Fairs: Temporary Stages, from

Wan, K., and Alagar, V. (2012). Resource Modeling for Cyber Physical Systems. In: 2012 International Conference on Systems and Informatics (ICSAI). Yantai, China. 19-20 May (pp. 2541–2546).

Wan, J., Suo, H., Yan, H., and Liu, J. (2011). A General Test Platform for Cyber-Physical Systems: Unmanned Vehicle with Wireless Sensor Network Navigation. Procedia Engineering, 24, 123-127.

Yabuki, N., and Oyama, T. (2007). Application of Radio Frequency Identification Technology for Management of Light Weight Temporary Facility Members. In: ASCE Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering, Pittsburgh, USA. 24-27 July (pp. 697-704).

Yuan, X., Parfitt, K. M, Anumba, C. J. (2014). The Use of Cyber-Physical Systems in Temporary Structures–An Exploratory Study. In: Computing in Civil and Building Engineering. ASCE, Florida, USA. 23-25 June (pp. 1707-1714).

Yang, J., Park, M. W., Vela, P. A., and Golparvar-Fard, M. (2015). Construction performance monitoring via still images, time-lapse photos, and video streams: Now, tomorrow, and the future. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 29(2), 211-224.

Zhu, Q., and Basar, T. (2011). Robust and Resilient Control Design for Cyber-Physical Systems with an Application to Power Systems. In: Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC-ECC), 2011 50th IEEE Conference. Florida, USA. 12-15 December (pp. 4066-4071).

Zhang, S., Sulankivi, K., Kiviniemi, M., Romo, I., Eastman, C. M., and Teizer, J. (2015). BIM-based Fall Hazard Identification and Prevention in Construction Safety Planning. Safety Science, 72, 31-45.


  • There are currently no refbacks.


- ISSN (Online) #1938 7806 - ArchNet-IJAR is covered by ArchNet@ MIT Libraries, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCO, DOAJ, Pro-Quest, Scopus-Elsevier.

- Published work in ArchNet-IJAR is licensed under Creative Commons.

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2016


Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014