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Special Issue "Sensors, Big Data Analytics and Modeling for Infrastructure Monitoring and Maintenance"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Physical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Saeed Eftekhar Azam
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA
Interests: online Bayesian system identification; Kalman filtering; particle filtering; Machine Learning; Big Data Analytics; infrastructure monitoring and maintenance
Dr. Stefano Mariani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile e Ambientale, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
Interests: MEMS; structural sensors; Kalman filtering
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Structural health monitoring (SHM) of civil structures and infrastructure aims at detecting any potential damage, which might lead to an irreversible reduction of their stiffness and strength characteristics and, possibly, to catastrophic events. Since changes in the mechanical properties cannot be directly and explicitly sensed, SHM systems must perform data analytics on measurements in order to indirectly identify damage. In this regard, SHM is the process of autonomous analysis of sensor data from operating structures and infrastructure systems to extract information used for the decision-making process. While in other fields SHM has already transitioned to industrial applications, when dealing with civil infrastructures its application to operating systems is somehow still pending. Several obstacles impede commercialization of SHM in structural systems, including the state-of-the-art and practice in sensing and the various sources of uncertainties.

The goal of the present Special Issue is to collect contributions in the disciplines of physical sensors, computer science, and engineering, to serve as a forum for researchers in the field of sensor technologies and sensing strategies and to foster the development of real-time SHM of real-life structures. Experimental and theoretical works are both welcome, with the aim of providing a fresh account of methods to move towards the design of robust and resilient smart sensing strategies, and to extract information from the raw data acquired by pervasive sensor networks. Critical reviews and surveys of the state of the art and practice are also encouraged.

In this regard, the following category of contributions are welcome:

  1. Sensor-oriented contributions, including wireless sensor networks, multi-functional materials, energy harvesting for SHM, MEMS sensors, and Internet of Things approaches;
  2. Big Data analytics, including machine learning and statistical approaches, emerging strategies for sensor fusion, AI-based data mining, and cloud/edge/fog computing for infrastructure maintenance;
  3. Model-based Big Data analytics methods, such as Kalman filtering, particle filtering, and similar time-series analysis for online and real-time damage detection;
  4. Computational modeling approaches for infrastructure simulation, stochastic, and deterministic optimization, response prediction, force prediction;
  5. High-performance computing frameworks, including parallel processing and reduced order modeling.

The editors hope that the multidisciplinary nature of this Special Issue could provide readers with a grasp of cutting-edge research in all vital spokes of SHM.

Dr. Saeed Eftekhar Azam
Prof. Dr. Stefano Mariani
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • SHM, structural health monitoring
  • damage detection
  • sensor networks
  • data mining
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Machine Learning

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Requirement Assessment of the Relative Spatial Accuracy of a Motion-Constrained GNSS/INS in Shortwave Track Irregularity Measurement
Sensors 2019, 19(23), 5296; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19235296 - 01 Dec 2019
Abstract
Modern railway track health monitoring requires high accuracy measurements to ensure comfort and safety. Although Global Navigation Satellite System/Inertial Navigation System (GNSS/INS) integration has been extended to track geometry measurements to improve the work efficiency, it has been questioned due to its positioning [...] Read more.
Modern railway track health monitoring requires high accuracy measurements to ensure comfort and safety. Although Global Navigation Satellite System/Inertial Navigation System (GNSS/INS) integration has been extended to track geometry measurements to improve the work efficiency, it has been questioned due to its positioning accuracy at the centimeter or millimeter level. We propose the relative spatial accuracy based on the accuracy requirement of track health monitoring. A requirement assessment of the spatial relative accuracy is conducted for shortwave track irregularity measurements based on evaluation indicators and relative accuracy calculations. The threshold values of the relative spatial accuracy that satisfy the constraints of shortwave track irregularity measurements are derived. Motion-constrained GNSS/INS integration is performed to improve the navigation accuracy considering the dynamic characteristics of the track geometry measurement trolley. The results of field tests show that the mean square error and the Allan deviation of the relative position errors of motion-constrained GNSS/INS integration are smaller than 0.67 mm and 0.16 mm, respectively, which indicates that this approach meets the accuracy requirements of shortwave track irregularities, especially vertical irregularities. This work can provide support for the application of GNSS/INS systems in track irregularity measurement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Probabilistic Traffic Load Effects on Large Bridges Using Long-Term Traffic Monitoring Data
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 5056; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19225056 - 19 Nov 2019
Abstract
With the steadily growing of global transportation market, the traffic load has increased dramatically over the past decades, which may develop into a risk source for existing bridges. The simultaneous presence of heavy trucks that are random in nature governs the serviceability limit [...] Read more.
With the steadily growing of global transportation market, the traffic load has increased dramatically over the past decades, which may develop into a risk source for existing bridges. The simultaneous presence of heavy trucks that are random in nature governs the serviceability limit for large bridges. This study investigated probabilistic traffic load effects on large bridges under actual heavy traffic load. Initially, critical stochastic traffic loading scenarios were simulated based on millions of traffic monitoring data in a highway bridge in China. A methodology of extrapolating maximum traffic load effects was presented based on the level-crossing theory. The effectiveness of the proposed method was demonstrated by probabilistic deflection investigation of a suspension bridge. Influence of traffic density variation and overloading control on the maximum deflection was investigated as recommendations for designers and managers. The numerical results show that the congested traffic mostly governs the critical traffic load effects on large bridges. Traffic growth results in higher maximum deformations and probabilities of failure of the bridge in its lifetime. Since the critical loading scenario contains multi-types of overloaded trucks, an effective overloading control measure has a remarkable influence on the lifetime maximum deflection. The stochastic traffic model and corresponding computational framework is expected to be developed to more types of bridges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel Data Reduction Approach for Structural Health Monitoring Systems
Sensors 2019, 19(22), 4823; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19224823 - 06 Nov 2019
Abstract
The massive amount of data generated by structural health monitoring (SHM) systems usually affects the system’s capacity for data transmission and analysis. This paper proposes a novel concept based on the probability theory for data reduction in SHM systems. The beauty salient feature [...] Read more.
The massive amount of data generated by structural health monitoring (SHM) systems usually affects the system’s capacity for data transmission and analysis. This paper proposes a novel concept based on the probability theory for data reduction in SHM systems. The beauty salient feature of the proposed method is that it alleviates the burden of collecting and analysis of the entire strain data via a relative damage approach. In this methodology, the rate of variation of strain distributions is related to the rate of damage. In order to verify the accuracy of the approach, experimental and numerical studies were conducted on a thin steel plate subjected to cyclic in-plane tension loading. Circular holes with various sizes were made on the plate to define damage states. Rather than measuring the entire strain response, the cumulative durations of strain events at different predefined strain levels were obtained for each damage scenario. Then, the distribution of the calculated cumulative times was used to detect the damage progression. The results show that the presented technique can efficiently detect the damage progression. The damage detection accuracy can be improved by increasing the predefined strain levels. The proposed concept can lead to over 2500% reduction in data storage requirement, which can be particularly important for data generation and data handling in on-line SHM systems. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Prediction of Pullout Behavior of Belled Piles through Various Machine Learning Modelling Techniques
Sensors 2019, 19(17), 3678; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19173678 - 24 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The main goal of this study is to estimate the pullout forces by developing various modelling technique like feedforward neural network (FFNN), radial basis functions neural networks (RBNN), general regression neural network (GRNN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). A hybrid learning algorithm, [...] Read more.
The main goal of this study is to estimate the pullout forces by developing various modelling technique like feedforward neural network (FFNN), radial basis functions neural networks (RBNN), general regression neural network (GRNN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). A hybrid learning algorithm, including a back-propagation and least square estimation, is utilized to train ANFIS in MATLAB (software). Accordingly, 432 samples have been applied, through which 300 samples have been considered as training dataset with 132 ones for testing dataset. All results have been analyzed by ANFIS, in which the reliability has been confirmed through the comparing of the results. Consequently, regarding FFNN, RBNN, GRNN, and ANFIS, statistical indexes of coefficient of determination (R2), variance account for (VAF) and root mean square error (RMSE) in the values of (0.957, 0.968, 0.939, 0.902, 0.998), (95.677, 96.814, 93.884, 90.131, 97.442) and (2.176, 1.608, 3.001, 4.39, 0.058) have been achieved for training datasets and the values of (0.951, 0.913, 0.729, 0.685 and 0.995), (95.04, 91.13, 72.745, 66.228, 96.247) and (2.433, 4.032, 8.005, 10.188 and 1.252) are for testing datasets indicating a satisfied reliability of ANFIS in estimating of pullout behavior of belled piles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Soil Moisture and Shear Deformation Based on Compression Wave Velocities in a Shallow Slope Surface Layer
Sensors 2019, 19(15), 3406; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19153406 - 03 Aug 2019
Abstract
Rainfall-induced landslides occur commonly in mountainous areas around the world and cause severe human and infrastructural damage. An early warning system can help people safely escape from a dangerous area and is an economical and effective method to prevent and mitigate rainfall-induced landslides. [...] Read more.
Rainfall-induced landslides occur commonly in mountainous areas around the world and cause severe human and infrastructural damage. An early warning system can help people safely escape from a dangerous area and is an economical and effective method to prevent and mitigate rainfall-induced landslides. This paper proposes a method to evaluate soil moisture and shear deformation by compression wave velocities in a shallow slope surface layer. A new type of exciter and new receivers have been developed using a combination of micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers and the Akaike’s information criterion (AIC) algorithm, which can automatically calculate the elastic wave travel time with accuracy and reliability. Laboratory experiments using a multi-layer shear model were conducted to reproduce the slope failure. The relationships between wave velocities and soil moisture were found to be dependent on the saturation path (rain or drain); in other words, hysteresis was observed. The wave velocity ratio reduced by 0.1–0.2 when the volumetric water content (VWC) increased from 0.1 to 0.27 m3/m3. When loading the shear stress corresponding to slope angles of 24, 27, 29, or 31 degrees, a drop of 0.2–0.3 in wave velocity ratio was observed at the middle layer, and near 0.5 at the bottom layer. After setting the shear stress to correspond to a slope angle of 33 degrees, the displacement started increasing and finally, slope failure occurred. With increasing displacement, the wave velocities also decreased rapidly. The wave velocity ratio dropped by 0.2 after a displacement of 3 mm. Monitoring long-term elastic wave velocities in a slope surface layer allows one to observe the behavior of the slope, understand its stability, and then apply an early warning system to predict slope failure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Investigation of Weigh-in-Motion Measurement Accuracy on the Basis of Steering Axle Load Spectra
Sensors 2019, 19(15), 3272; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19153272 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Weigh-in-motion systems are installed in pavements or on bridges to identify and reduce the number of overloaded vehicles and minimise their adverse effect on road infrastructure. Moreover, the collected traffic data are used to obtain axle load characteristics, which are very useful in [...] Read more.
Weigh-in-motion systems are installed in pavements or on bridges to identify and reduce the number of overloaded vehicles and minimise their adverse effect on road infrastructure. Moreover, the collected traffic data are used to obtain axle load characteristics, which are very useful in road infrastructure design. Practical application of data from weigh-in-motion has become more common recently, which calls for adequate attention to data quality. This issue is addressed in the presented paper. The aim of the article is to investigate the accuracy of 77 operative weigh-in-motion stations by analysing steering axle load spectra. The proposed methodology and analysis enabled the identification of scale and source of errors that occur in measurements delivered from weigh-in-motion systems. For this purpose, selected factors were investigated, including the type of axle load sensor, air temperature and vehicle speed. The results of the analysis indicated the obvious effect of the axle load sensor type on the measurement results. It was noted that systematic error increases during winter, causing underestimation of axle loads by 5% to 10% for quartz piezoelectric and bending beam load sensors, respectively. A deterioration of system accuracy is also visible when vehicle speed decreases to 30 km/h. For 25% to 35% of cases, depending on the type of sensor, random error increases for lower speeds, while it remains at a constant level at higher speeds. The analysis also delivered a standard steering axle load distribution, which can have practical meaning in the improvement of weigh-in-motion accuracy and traffic data quality. Full article
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