A method for the ontology-based risk management of PPP construction projects

Xiaoyan Jiang, Sai Wang, Yong Liu, Bo Xia, Martin Skitmore, Madhav Prasad Nepal, Amir Ghanbaripour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


With the increasing complexity of public–private partnership (PPP) projects, the amount of data generated during the construction process is massive. This paper aims to develop a new information management method to cope with the risk problems involved in dealing with such data, based on domain ontologies of the construction industry, to help manage PPP risks, share and reuse risk knowledge.

Risk knowledge concepts are acquired and summarized through PPP failure cases and an extensive literature review to establish a domain framework for risk knowledge using ontology technology to help manage PPP risks.

The results indicate that the risk ontology is capable of capturing key concepts and relationships involved in managing PPP risks and can be used to facilitate knowledge reuse and storage beneficial to risk management.

Research limitations/implications
The classes in the risk knowledge ontology model constructed in this research do not yet cover all the information in PPP project risks and need to be further extended. Moreover, only the framework and basic methods needed are developed, while the construction of a working ontology model and the relationship between implicit and explicit knowledge is a complicated process that requires repeated modifications and evaluations before it can be implemented.

Practical implications
The ontology provides a basis for turning PPP risk information into risk knowledge to allow the effective sharing and communication of project risks between different project stakeholders. It can also have the potential to help reduce the dependence on subjectivity by mining, using and storing tacit knowledge in the risk management process.

The apparent suitability of the nine classes of PPP risk knowledge (project model, risk type, risk occurrence stage, risk source, risk consequence, risk likelihood, risk carrier, risk management measures and risk case) is identified, and the proposed construction method and steps for a complete domain ontology for PPP risk management are unique. A combination of criteria- and task-based evaluations is also developed for assessing the PPP risk ontology for the first time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1129
Number of pages35
JournalConstruction Innovation
Issue number5
Early online date28 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023


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