Title page for ETD etd-08212002-135548

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Devulapalli, Srinath
URN etd-08212002-135548
Title Evaluation of Policies for the Maintenance of Bridges Using Discrete Event Simulation
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Martinez, Julio C. Committee Chair
de la Garza, Jesus M. Committee Member
Flintsch, Gerardo W. Committee Member
  • policy analysis tool
  • Bridge management system
  • simulation
Date of Defense 2002-08-16
Availability unrestricted

With the recent developments of several bridge managements systems and their wide-spread use, bridge engineers are realizing the importance of systematic and well planned investments and appropriate management. However the results are far from satisfactory. Bridge management systems need more effective policy analysis tools that can take advantage of the vast amounts of available information to be more efficient.

The objective of this research is to develop a policy analysis tool, which is generic in nature and can be applied to any bridge management system provided all the appropriate data is available. In particular, this policy analysis tool is geared to suit policy making, planning and budgeting for the interstate bridges in the state of Virginia.

The policy analysis tool developed in this research is a discrete event simulation model capable of extracting information from text files in the Pontis Data Interchange format and simulate user defined element level policies. The model testing was performed using the interstate bridges of the Salem district in Virginia. All the relevant information was extracted from their PONTIS databases.

Several scenarios with varying network policies were simulated. The results indicate the validity and the accuracy of the model. The policy analysis tool is a useful addition to the existing policy analysis tools and is capable of handling probabilistic distributions of data instead of single value averages. This will enable the tool to capture more information thereby making the simulation model more realistic.

The general framework that was developed here can be applied to any infrastructure problem, and eventually it should be possible to achieve a discrete event simulation based integrated infrastructure management system.

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