Bayesian ballast damage detection utilizing a modified evolutionary algorithm

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-448
Journal / PublicationSmart Structures and Systems
Volume21
Issue number4
Online published25 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Abstract

This paper reports the development of a theoretically rigorous method for permanent way engineers to assess the condition of railway ballast under a concrete sleeper with the potential to be extended to a smart system for long-term health monitoring of railway ballast. Owing to the uncertainties induced by the problems of modeling error and measurement noise, the Bayesian approach was followed in the development. After the selection of the most plausible model class for describing the damage status of the rail-sleeper-ballast system, Bayesian model updating is adopted to calculate the posterior PDF of the ballast stiffness at various regions under the sleeper. An obvious drop in ballast stiffness at a region under the sleeper is an evidence of ballast damage. In model updating, the model that can minimize the discrepancy between the measured and model-predicted modal parameters can be considered as the most probable model for calculating the posterior PDF under the Bayesian framework. To address the problems of non-uniqueness and local minima in the model updating process, a two-stage hybrid optimization method was developed. The modified evolutionary algorithm was developed in the first stage to identify the important regions in the parameter space and resulting in a set of initial trials for deterministic optimization to locate all most probable models in the second stage. The proposed methodology was numerically and experimentally verified. Using the identified model, a series of comprehensive numerical case studies was carried out to investigate the effects of data quantity and quality on the results of ballast damage detection. Difficulties to be overcome before the proposed method can be extended to a long-term ballast monitoring system are discussed in the conclusion.

Research Area(s)

  • Bayesian model class selection, Bayesian model updating, damage detection, modified evolutionary algorithm, railway ballast

Citation Format(s)

Bayesian ballast damage detection utilizing a modified evolutionary algorithm. / Hu, Qin; Lam, Heung Fai; Zhu, Hong Ping et al.
In: Smart Structures and Systems, Vol. 21, No. 4, 04.2018, p. 435-448.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review