Mitigating effects of temperature variations through probabilistic-based machine learning for vibration-based bridge scour detection

Wei Zheng, Feng Qian, Jinlei Shen, Feng Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This paper presents a novel approach to mitigating the effect of temperature variations on the bridges’ dynamic modal properties for more reliably detecting scour damage around bridge piles based on the vibration-based measurements. The novelty of the presented approach lies in its ability to reasonably remove the impacts on the modal properties of bridges, particularly caused by changes in material properties and structural boundary conditions due to temperature variations without explicitly modeling these complex effects. The main idea is to adopt the probabilistic-based machine learning method, Gaussian Process Model, to learn the correlation between the changes of modal properties of a monitored bridge and the corresponding temperature variations from in situ sensor measurements, and probabilistically infer the bridge scour based on the modified vibration measurements, which have mitigated the identified impacts of temperature variations, by applying Bayesian inference through the Transitional Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation. The proposed approach and its applicability are presented and validated through the numerical simulation of a prototype bridge, demonstrating its potential for practical application for mitigating effects of temperature variations or other environmental impacts for vibration-based Structural Health Monitoring. The limitation of the presented study and future research needs are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-972
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Civil Structural Health Monitoring
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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