The paper reviews some recent numerical applications for the interpretation and exploitation of acoustic emission (AE) monitoring results obtained from historical masonry structures and materials. Among possible numerical techniques, the finite element method and the distinct method are considered. The analyzed numerical models cover the entire scale range, from microstructure and meso-structure, up to full-size real structures. The micro-modeling includes heterogeneous concrete-like materials, but mainly focuses on the masonry texture meso-structure, where each brick and mortar joint is modeled singularly. The full-size models consider the different typology of historical structures such as masonry towers, cathedrals and chapels. The main difficulties and advantages of the different numerical approaches, depending on the problem typology and scale, are critically analyzed. The main insight we can achieve from micro and meso numerical modeling concerns the scaling of AE as a function of volume and time, since it is also able to simulate the b
-value temporal evolution as the damage spread into the structure. The finite element modeling of the whole structure provides useful hints for the optimal placement of the AE sensors, while the combination of AE monitoring results is crucial for a reliable assessment of structural safety.
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