Affiliations: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Corresponding author. Saleh Abu Dabous, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of
Sharjah, Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems Research Group, P.O. Box: 27272 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Tel.: +971 6 5050965; Fax: +971 6 5585173; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Reliable deterioration models for forecasting the condition of bridge elements, systems, and networks are essential components of any bridge management system. Estimating deterioration transition probabilities is the basis of the popular Markov chain deterioration model. Transition probabilities have been produced in the literature by statistical and probabilistic analysis performed on available bridge inspection and condition data. The available data may be limited or inconsistent with the Markov chain transition period. In addition, the conventional probability theory has limitations when applied to problems with a stochastic nature such as bridge deterioration. This paper introduces a novel method based on the theory of evidence for bridge deterioration modeling through expert judgment elicitation. The advantages of the theory of evidence over the traditional probability theory are discussed and the process for the theory implementation is demonstrated with a case study to validate the application of Dempster–Shafer theory of evidence to estimate the transition probabilities. Based on the results, the theory of evidence is proposed as a scientific expert judgement elicitation technique in the area of bridge condition rating and deterioration modeling. Expert judgment elicitation and theory of evidence application hold potential in the field of bridge management and require further investigation and research.
Keywords: Bridge deterioration, transition probability, markov chains, Dempster–Shafer, theory of evidence