Complex Networks Perspectives Towards Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC)

Link to Latest: December 2019 Progress Report

Background
Despite the fact that ABC reduces many uncertainties associated with construction processes and performance during service life, ABC related activities can create impacts on the road network carrying regular traffic. The problem may get escalated during a major hurricane in coastal areas while a number of people trying to evacuate from the vulnerable area several days ahead of landfall. As such, network positions or credentials of bridges based on their topography or connectivity need to be assessed to prioritize or stage ABC activities. There have been limited investigations by many states to monitor the cascading effects of traffic due to ABC related activities and to identify more efficient strategies to pursue such activities while reducing overall system-wide impact. ABC-UTC is planning to embark on coordinated and extensive network experiments at different geographic scales to apply complex network science principles to the study of bridge networks and ABC related activities. This research will use GIS modeling along with FDOT bridge and road network data to run network experiments and prioritize certain bridges based on their network credentials.

Objective:
The objective of this study is to present a method for assessing the vulnerability of a bridge network system and a strategy for improving its resiliency. With growing attention to risk-based inspection and maintenance of infrastructure, accurate knowledge of the vulnerabilities and importance, as well as consideration of interrelation among bridges in a network becomes crucial. The bridge network system in the state of Florida, USA will be used as a case study in this project.

Scope:
The following tasks will be performed to achieve the project objective:

  • Task 1 – Obtain Accurate FDOT Road and Bridge Network Data
    • The research team will obtain accurate bridge shape files either from public websites or from FDOT private repositories.
  • Task 2 – Identify the Scale and Scope of the Bridge Network to be Inspected
    • Once GIS modeling is done, appropriate scales and scopes of analyses will be selected before conducting the network experiments.
  • Task 3 – Perform Network Experiments and Analyses
    • The input network obtained from Task 2 will be used to perform network experiments. Several network algorithms will be run to identify network credentials of bridges and to establish resilience and vulnerability metrics.
  • Task 4 – Compilation of Results and Reporting
    • The results and findings of the network experiments will be reported in a manner consistent with existing protocols. A tool will be developed for practitioners so that this can be used in the field.

Research Team:
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Arif Mohaimin Sadri
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Armin Mehrabi
Research Assistant:  Md. Ashraf Ahmed