This paper introduces a damage diagnosis algorithm for civil structures that uses a sequential change point detection method. The general change point detection method uses the known pre- and post-damage feature distributions to perform a sequential hypothesis test. In practice, however, the post-damage distribution is unlikely to be known a priori, unless we are looking for a known specific type of damage. Therefore, we introduce an additional algorithm that estimates and updates this distribution as data are collected using the maximum likelihood and the Bayesian methods. We also applied an approximate method to reduce the computation load and memory requirement associated with the estimation. The algorithm is validated using a set of experimental data collected from a four-story steel special moment-resisting frame and multiple sets of simulated data. Various features of different dimensions have been explored, and the algorithm was able to identify damage, particularly when it uses multidimensional damage sensitive features and lower false alarm rates, with a known post-damage feature distribution. For unknown feature distribution cases, the post-damage distribution was consistently estimated and the detection delays were only a few time steps longer than the delays from the general method that assumes we know the post-damage feature distribution. We confirmed that the Bayesian method is particularly efficient in declaring damage with minimal memory requirement, but the maximum likelihood method provides an insightful heuristic approach.

]]>The bibliography is by no means complete and the author would appreciate pointers to other literature in the area for inclusion in a future update. A forthcoming special issue of ACM SIGART newsletter on applications of Artificial Intelligence to engineering problems will have further references. Some of these references are taken from NTIS citations from the INSPEC data base; these references contain the word [NTIS]..

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