Lifetime condition prediction for bridges

Bayrak, Hakan
Infrastructure systems are crucial facilities. They supply the necessary transportation, water and energy utilities for the public. However, while aging, these systems gradually deteriorate in time and approach the end of their lifespans. As a result, they require periodic maintenance and repair in order to function and be reliable throughout their lifetimes. Bridge infrastructure is an essential part of the transportation infrastructure. Bridge management systems (BMSs), used to monitor the condition and safety of the bridges in a bridge infrastructure, have evolved considerably in the past decades. The aim of BMSs is to use the resources in an optimal manner keeping the bridges out of risk of failure. The BMSs use the lifetime performance curves to predict the future condition of the bridge elements or bridges. The most widely implemented condition-based performance prediction and maintenance optimization model is the Markov Decision Process-based models (MDP). The importance of the Markov Decision Process-based model is that it defines the time-variant deterioration using the Markov Transition Probability Matrix and performs the lifetime cost optimization by finding the optimum maintenance policy. In this study, the Markov decision process-based model is examined and a computer program to find the optimal policy with discounted life-cycle cost is developed. The other performance prediction model investigated in this study is a probabilistic Bi-linear model which takes into account the uncertainties for the deterioration process and the application of maintenance actions by the use of random variables. As part of the study, in order to further analyze and develop the Bi-linear model, a Latin Hypercube Sampling-based (LHS) simulation program is also developed and integrated into the main computational algorithm which can produce condition, safety, and life-cycle cost profiles for bridge members with and without maintenance actions. Furthermore, a polynomial-based condition prediction is also examined as an alternative performance prediction model. This model is obtained from condition rating data by applying regression analysis. Regression-based performance curves are regenerated using the Latin Hypercube sampling method. Finally, the results from the Markov chain-based performance prediction are compared with Simulation-based Bi-linear prediction and the derivation of the transition probability matrix from simulated regression based condition profile is introduced as a newly developed approach. It has been observed that the results obtained from the Markov chain-based average condition rating profiles match well with those obtained from Simulation-based mean condition rating profiles. The result suggests that the Simulation-based condition prediction model may be considered as a potential model in future BMSs.


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Citation Formats
H. Bayrak, “Lifetime condition prediction for bridges,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2011.