Title page for ETD etd-02012008-154826

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Wu, Zheng
Author's Email Address wuz@vt.edu
URN etd-02012008-154826
Title Hybrid Multi-Objective Optimization Models for Managing Pavement Assets
Degree PhD
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Flintsch, Gerardo W. Committee Chair
Baik, Hojong Committee Member
Loulizi, Amara Committee Member
Trani, Antonio A. Committee Member
Wang, Linbing Committee Member
  • Multi-objective
  • Highway Asset
  • Resource Allocation
  • Optimization
  • Pavement Management
  • Programming
  • Preservation
  • Stochastic Model
Date of Defense 2008-01-25
Availability unrestricted
Increasingly tighter budgets, changes in government role/function, declines in staff resources, and demands for increased accountability in the transportation field have brought unprecedented challenges for state transportation officials at all management levels. Systematic methodologies for effective management of a specific type of infrastructure (e.g., pavement and bridges) as well as for holistically managing all types of infrastructure assets are being developed to approach these challenges. In particular, the intrinsic characteristics of highway system make the use of multi-objective optimization techniques particularly attractive for managing highway assets. Recognizing the need for effective tradeoff tools and the limitations of state-of-practice analytical models and tools in highway asset management, the main objective of this dissertation was to develop a performance-based asset management framework that uses multi-objective optimization techniques and consists of stand-alone but logically interconnected optimization models for different management levels.

Based on a critical review of popular multi-objective optimization techniques and their applications in highway asset management, a synergistic integration of complementary multi-criteria optimization techniques is recommended for the development of practical and efficient decision-supporting tools. Accordingly, the dissertation first proposes and implements a probabilistic multi-objective model for performance-based pavement preservation programming that uses the weighting sum method and chance constraints. This model can handle multiple incommensurable and conflicting objectives while considering probabilistic constraints related to the available budget over the planning horizon, but is found more suitable to problems with small number of objective functions due to its computational intensity.

To enhance the above model, a hybrid model that requires less computing time and systematically captures the decision maker's preferences on multiple objectives is developed by combining the analytic hierarchy process and goal programming. This model is further extended to also capture the relative importance existent within optimization constraints to be suitable for allocations of funding across multiple districts for a decentralized state department of transportation.

Finally, as a continuation of the above proposed models for the succeeding management level, a project selection model capable of incorporating qualitative factors (e.g. equity, user satisfaction) into the decision making is developed. This model combines k-means clustering, analytic hierarchy process and integer linear programming.

All the models are logically interconnected in a comprehensive resource allocation framework. Their feasibility, practicality and potential benefits are illustrated through various case studies and recommendations for further developments are provided.

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