A Personalized Construction Safety Information Presentation System: Managing Information Overload

Project: Research

View graph of relations


The objective of the proposed research is to study the theoretical foundation of a personalized construction safety information presentation system (PCSIPS), which changes the way of information presentation to reduce the information and cognitive load at the individual level.The construction industry is increasingly dependent upon the advanced information technologies for information generation and communication. With the wide adoption of these technologies, a large amount and variety of information (e.g., entities’ locations, IDs, environmental data and etc.) can be generated for supporting construction management tasks on jobsites. The collected information has tremendous value but the volume is far beyond construction practitioners’ capacity to fully understand and analyze it. A new challenge has arisen: cognitive overload due to information redundancy. According to the Cognitive Load Theory proposed by Sweller, human cognition has a very limited and finite information processing capacity. There exists an apparent gap between the overwhelming information available on sites and the limited processing capacity. This gap will widen in the future as more diverse real-time information is available due to the increasing adoption of ICT on jobsites. Too much information and inappropriate presentation of the information can lead to cognitive overload, causing decreased performance in safety management tasks and/or having an adverse effect on decision making. To solve this problem, it requires a successful construction safety information delivery mode, in which the right information is delivered to the right person at the right time for the right task, instead of the all the information being delivered at once to anyone regardless of a worker’s duties. Therefore, a PCSIPS for construction safety practitioners that can reduce the personal’s cognitive load is an urgent need.Computer visualization engineering has become critical for supporting efficient and effective construction safety information management, which offers new ways to present information, such as charts and maps etc. It makes information more memorable, and helps construction safety professionals understand complex information more effective and further aids in decisionmaking.This proposal points at the fundamental understanding about how the diverse information and its presentation affects the cognitive load of different safety management tasks, and how cognitive load is associated with the safety decisions making performance. If successful, a PCSIPS to reduce the cognitive load of safety professionals can be designed and developed, helping the professionals to make decisions more efficiently and discover new knowledge more effectively. In addition, given that the global construction industry is expected to be worth $10.3 trillion in 2020, any effort to increase construction efficiency will lead to enormous cost savings to societies around the world. Although this research focuses on construction safety management, the theory and approach in this proposal can be applied to other domains suffering from information overload.


Project number9042665
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/1922/12/22