Structural Assessment of RC Constructions and Fuzzy Expert Systems

Structural Assessment of RC Constructions and Fuzzy Expert Systems

Mauro Mezzina (Technical University of Bari, Italy), Giuseppina Uva (Technical University of Bari, Italy), Rita Greco (Technical University of Bari, Italy), Giuseppe Acciani (Technical University of Bari, Italy), Giuseppe Cascella (Technical University of Bari, Italy) and Girolamo Fornarelli (Technical University of Bari, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-941-0.ch091
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Abstract

The chapter deals with the structural assessment of existing constructions, with a particular attention to seismic risk mitigation. Two aspects are involved: the appraisal of the actual conditions of the structure (material deterioration, preexisting damages) and the evaluation of the structural “vulnerability,” that is, the propensity to suffer damage because of the intrinsic geometric and structural arrangement, boundary conditions, specific structural details. Attention is first focused on the investigation protocol, which is organized through a multilevel, hierarchical scheme: the procedure includes visual inspections, surveys, experimental testing on site and in laboratory, and gradually proceeds into the details of the problem, progressively refining and verifying hypotheses and preliminary judgments. In a second part, the definition of effective tools for uncertainty management and decision making is performed, by presenting a genetic-fuzzy expert system which handles the procedure of the assessment properly accounting for uncertainty and errors, and is able to tune the parameters involved on the basis of experts’ knowledge, “training” the system. Finally, a case study is presented, applying the whole assessment procedure and the fuzzy genetic algorithm.

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