History-dependent bridge deck maintenance and replacement optimization with Markov decision processes

Charles Antoine Robelin, Samer M. Madanat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bridge maintenance and replacement optimization methods use deterioration models to predict the future condition of bridge components. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework for bridge maintenance optimization using a deterioration model that takes into account aspects of the history of the bridge condition and maintenance, while allowing the use of efficient optimization techniques. Markovian models are widely used to represent bridge component deterioration. In existing Markovian models, the state is the bridge component condition, and the history of the condition is not taken into account, which is seen as a limitation. This paper describes a method to formulate a realistic history-dependent model of bridge deck deterioration as a Markov chain, while retaining aspects of the history of deterioration and maintenance as part of the model. This model is then used to formulate and solve a reliability-based bridge maintenance optimization problem as a Markov decision process. A parametric study is conducted to compare the policies obtained in this research with policies derived using a simpler Markovian model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infrastructure Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Bridge decks
  • Bridge maintenance
  • Infrastructure
  • Markov process
  • Monte Carlo method
  • Optimization
  • Stochastic models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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